AT&T will pay $7.75 million after a federal investigation found it allowed unauthorized third-party charges on its customers’ telephone bills, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said Monday, reports Reuters (via Fortune). From the report: The company allowed “scammers to charge customers approximately $9 per month for a sham directory assistance service,” the FCC said Monday. The fraud was uncovered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration while investigating two Ohio companies for drug-related crimes and money laundering, the FCC said. The settlement includes $6.8 million in refunds and a $950,000 federal fine, the FCC said. AT&T signed a consent decree with the FCC and agreed to cease billing for nearly all third-party products and services on landline bills and adopt procedures to obtain express consent from customers prior to allowing third-party charges. The company also agreed to revise its billing practices to ensure third-party charges are conspicuously identified on bills.
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