Telephone consumers will be protected from a deceptive practice called “cramming” thanks to additional protections advanced by Senate Bill 1421, which was signed November 30.

“Cramming” is a scam that has been on the rise in Illinois, and the new law is intended to deter the practice. Third-party telecommunication providers are now prohibited from adding unauthorized charges to a consumer’s telephone bill.

Now, third-party service providers can’t charge consumers on their telephone bills unless they have clearly disclosed all charges and terms of service, an independent party must confirm that the consumer agrees to the service or product, and the service provider must have given the consumer a toll-free contact number that they can call with questions or complaints.

Those found in violation of the law may be subject to a $50,000 fine.

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