Cell phone users cautioned about payment by text

September 20, 2010 5:18:44 PM PDT
There is a new warning out about making payments by cell phone.

Texting money gained lots of attention when people were asked to text donations to help earthquake ravaged Haiti, but cell phone payments are also popular with consumers buying ring tones and other music.

Consumer advocate group Consumers Union says to be cautious.

"The biggest concerns we have are lack of protections depending upon what kind of payment mechanism the transaction is tied to, so if its tied to a credit card, debit card, your bank account, then you're safe, but if its tied to a pre-paid card, or it goes to your cell phone bill, you may be out of luck," Consumers Union spokesperson Michelle Jun said.

Those forms of payments don't come with federal or state protections.

Consumers Union is calling on the Federal Reserve board to change that.


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