Last week we discussed cramming, those unusual charges on your telephone bill for services you did not request. You can reduce your risk of becoming the victim of cramming by watching who gets your phone number.
Enter to Win. Perhaps you have completed a contest entry. You hope to win a prize. Actually you have given "permission" to get enrolled in a service.
Join the Club. The ad says it's free. You call a toll-free number and end up enrolled in a club with a monthly charge on your phone bill.
"Free" calls. You call a 900 number to claim your free prize. Except 900 calls aren't free. You may be put on hold adding dollars to your phone bill. The 900 numbers that cost more than $2 have to have a brief introductory message about the service, the service provider and the cost of the call. After that introduction you have three seconds to hang up without incurring any charge.
You can help stop cramming by blocking some services. Blocks are available for 900-number calls, international, long distance, local toll-calls and third-party calls. Check with your phone company to understand the difference range of call blocks.
If you use a telephone modem for Internet access, you can prevent a specific type of cramming by making sure you're using up-to-date security software. "Dialer programs" redirect your modem, causing it to dial an international or 900 number. You find out only when you receive your bill.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help customers. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free 1 (877) 382-4357.
Thursday: TOPS meet at 8:30 a.m. The art class meets at 10 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m.
Friday: Line dancing starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by STEPS at 10 a.m. A nurse is available from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge begins at 12:45 p.m. Nutrition Council meets at 1 p.m.
Saturday: The pool room is open in the afternoon.
Sunday: Duplicate bridge begins at 2 p.m.
Monday: Exercises are at 8:30 a.m. STEPS begin at 10 a.m. Humdinger Band practices at 12:30 p.m. Bridge and double pinochle begin at 12:45 p.m. The Upbeats practice at 3 p.m. Duplicate bridge is at 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Pitch is played at 12:45 p.m. Bingo will start at 1:30 p.m. The Finney County Committee on Aging will meet at 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 25: Foot Clinic appointments begin at 8 a.m. Line dancing starts at 8:30 a.m. STEPS begin at 10 a.m. Pinochle starts at 12:45 p.m. Completely Unraveled meets at 1 p.m. The dance at 7:30 p.m. will feature "The Blue Notes." The recommended donation is $4 per person. Bring finger food for the break.
Lunch is served at noon.
Thursday: Cheeseburgers, potato salad, baked beans, melon mix.
Friday: Baked fish, creamy rice, fresh spinach salad, wheat bread, angel food cake with strawberries.
Monday: Parmesan chicken, baked potato, cucumber, onion and green pepper salad, wheat bread, tropical fruit salad.
Tuesday: Roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, California blend vegetables with cheese, wheat roll, apple crisp.
Aug. 25: Smothered steak, potato wedges, tossed salad, wheat bread, apricots.