Washington, DC - The Federal Trade Commission is sending out 22,671 refund checks to people who lost money to a mobile cramming operation that placed tens of millions of dollars in charges on their mobile phone bills without their permission.

The refunds stem from a major FTC crackdown first announced in 2013. As part of the scheme, the defendants sent text messages containing celebrity gossip alerts, horoscopes, or “fun facts” to consumers and placed monthly subscription fees for these “services” on their mobile phone bills without their authorization. The practice of placing unauthorized charges on a consumer’s mobile phone bill is known as mobile cramming.

This is the third round of refunds issued as part of the FTC’s crackdown on mobile cramming. The latest round of refunds, totaling $2,107,156.24, comes from assets recovered as part of a settlement with Tatto, Inc. The average check amount is $92.95.

Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days, as indicated on the check. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check. If recipients have questions about the refunds, they should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Epiq, at 888-457-2202.

FTC law enforcement actions led to more than $6.4 billion in refunds for consumers in a one-year period between July 2016 and June 2017. For more information about the FTC’s refund program, including its Annual Report, visit www.ftc.gov/refunds.