Pre-Paid Phone Cards:
What Consumers Should Know
On September 1, 2011, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau announced $20 million in proposed
penalties against companies believed to be involved in deceptive marketing of pre-paid calling
cards. Millions of dollars were lost in alleged scams that allowed customers to use only a
fraction of minutes they purchased. Consumers from low-income and minority communities
were disproportionately impacted. The FCC released this tip sheet to help consumers identify,
prevent and fight this type of deceptive marketing for pre-paid phone cards.
What is a pre-paid phone card?
What should consumers look for before purchasing a pre-paid phone card?Make sure you understand the instructions on how to use the card;
What are common complaints to watch out for when using your pre-paid
How to take action if you suspect something is wrong with your pre-paid
If that doesn't work, you can file a complaint with the FCC's Consumer Centerby calling
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