I noticed a $39.95 charge on my phone bill listed under "other companies". I don't have long distance service, as I use my cell for those, so I was immediately suspicious. I noticed the charges were from a company called Atlantic Management and was billed through a billing bureau called The Billing Resource. They were claiming I had called a charge-by-the-minute 900 number for 2 minutes. $20 a minute seems a little weird to me, to begin with!
So, I did a little reserach and found out very quickly that these companies are known for scamming people, often by installing dialing adware on the computers of unsuspecting people and charging them when the computer dials the number through the modem.
Well, I knew this wasn't what happened to me because I have a the very latest firewall/adware/virus protection on my computer. So, I called the company and they told me that they could only remove half the charges. Well, ok, that's all fine and good, but I AIN'T PAYING THE OTHER HALF!
I told her I was aware of the scam they had going and that this would be resolved. She accused me of downloading software and that I had to have done it on purpose and would have been aware of any charges that would accrue and that I had to have agreed to them. She also asked if I had asked anyone in my family about the charges and if they had done any downloading. Well, my father calls my laser mouse "that thing that glows red" and my mom does good to figure out eBay at work on her lunchbreak. I am the only one who uses a computer at home. So, I made sure she knew that I was aware that this is none of my fault and I would take it to the furthest extent of the law.
I called BellSouth, my local provider, and, although I knew they probably could not do anything about the charges from another company, I had to know if this was something that had happened to a lot of their customers before. I am sure many elderly people just pay the bill and don't pay attention to the other charges. I almost didn't notice them myself.
I wondered why my bill had been so high. Come to find out, while lookcing at my account, Bellsouth noticed that I had been charged form the same company the month before! I had been charged a total of just under $80 from this sorry outfit! Well, Bellsouth did put a third-party block and a 900 block on my line, and they also desputed the charges for me. That's all they can do for now. We will see where this goes.