Third party text messages can cost a pretty penny - AmericaNowNews.com

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Third-party text messages can cost a pretty penny

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    Don't get 'smished' by text spam

    Don't get 'smished' by text spam

    These unwanted texts are the latest form of junk mail and identifying the source can be tough. We'll show you how to guard against text spam, and what to do when it hits you!
    These unwanted texts are the latest form of junk mail and identifying the source can be tough. We'll show you how to guard against text spam, and what to do when it hits you!
  • Text message phishing scam

    Beware text message phishing for personal information

    Everyone loves a free gift card. That's what was promised in a text message received by folks in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but it turned out to be a phishing scam.
    Everyone loves a free gift card. That's what was promised in a text message received by folks in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but it turned out to be a phishing scam.

They are called premium text messages or third-party text messages, and chances are you have received one at some point. But if you are not careful, those pesky messages could lead to some unwanted charges on your wireless bill.

"If they say to reply to stop, then that's what I do just for the main fact that I don't want to be bugged," wireless customer Jill Fink said.

According to several wireless providers, Jill Fink's reply to third-party texts, which can range from weekly horoscopes to random fun facts, does more than just stop pestering -- it can also stop charges. If you choose not to respond, chances are you'll see it on your bill.

"Premium text messages generally cost $9.99 or higher. Typically you'll get them from dialing in or registering online for something. Sometimes you can get them just out of the blue," Verizon Wireless representative Kerry Gould said.

Most people have no idea they are being charged until they open their bills and see the surprise. 

So what do you do? 

There are simple ways to make sure you never see these charges on your bill again. The three major wireless carriers all offer solutions. 

"Call customer service and have purchase blocker on your phone," AT&T representative, Rick Rudden, said.

It's free and turns off all purchasing capability on your wireless device. AT&T admits it is a broad solution, but it will make sure those premium texts don't get through again.

When it comes to free options, Verizon gives its customers more flexibility.

"You can block a variety of services all the way from premium texts all the way to spam," Gould said.

Through their My Verizon site, customers can choose specifically what they want blocked. 

T-mobile also offers a blocking service and consumers just have to call customer service to enact it.

It's all pretty easy, as long as you know you can do it.

"They should advertise them too; I never knew they existed. Now that I know, I'm going to go online and do that," Fink said.

As for the charges you may have already incurred from these premium texts, getting rid of those depends on your carrier. Some companies are more willing than other to wipe them away, so just call your provider and ask about it.

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