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Board: Cell phone scams increasing in Illinois

CHICAGO — The consumer advocacy group Citizens Utility Board says scams that add charges to customers' cell phone bills have almost doubled in Illinois the past year.

The board said in a news release Tuesday that scammers appear to be targeting cell phone users as wireless communication increases and new laws outlaw so-called cramming on land lines. Cramming refers to third-party charges added to cell phone bills for services customers never ordered.

The board says crammers get access to phone bills through text messages promising prizes or through ringtone downloads and then hope phone owners don't notice the relatively small charges on their bills.

The board says phone owners should scan bills closely for charges they don't recognize.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering tougher laws to protect cell phone owners.

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