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Posted: 12:34 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

Do you play Angry Birds? There might be a check coming your way



By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Scamsters who infiltrated Angry Birds with fake virus scareware ads are ready to pay you restitution if you got hit with their cram charges.

Jesta Digital (aka Jamster) is accused of pushing unwanted charges onto the phone bills of consumers who mistakenly clicked on the virus scareware they were feeding via the Angry Birds mobile app for Android since 2011.

The ads, which you can see in this story, claimed viruses were found on your Android smartphone and offered a way to supposedly remove them. But the Federal Trade Commission alleges that if you touched anywhere on the ad, you were instantly enrolled in a $10 a month ringtone service. Only a handful of people were ever able to get the virus protection being offered!

Jamster is believed to have used Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) billing to push the cram charges through without requiring the user to manually enter their number. And now, if you fell victim to this rip-off, you might have a check coming.

Jesta will automatically provide refunds to consumers hit with the $10 monthly charges anytime from Dec. 8, 2011 on. However, if you were billed between Aug. 1, 2011 and Dec. 7, 2011, you've got to call 866-856-5267 or email info@jamster.com to request your refund.

As to the larger issue of kids mistakenly clicking on things that cost money in otherwise free games, there are a couple of ways you could handle it.

Some people are happy to pay nominal charges -- usually between $3 and $5 -- for ad-free versions of gaming apps for their kids.  But I prefer the ad-supported free versions and then I  just diligently educate my kids early on that you never click on anything or accept anything from an ad or pop-up in a game.

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