The Maine Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has reached settlements with AT&T Mobility LLC to resolve allegations that AT&T Mobility placed charges for third-party services on consumers’ mobile telephone bills that had not been authorized by the consumer, a practice known as “mobile cramming.”

In an Oct. 10 announcement, Attorney General Janet T. Mills said the settlement totals $105 million in monetary penalties to AT&T Mobility and will provide $80 million in direct consumer restitution in a fund administered by the Federal Trade Commission.

AT&T Mobility will also be required to take specific steps to ensure that consumers are not subjected to these kinds of unauthorized charges in the future.

Consumers who have been “crammed” often complain about charges, typically $9.99 per month, for “premium” text message subscription services (“PSMS”) such as horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores, that the consumers have never heard of or requested.

State Attorneys General and federal regulators allege that cramming occurred when AT&T Mobility placed charges on consumers’ mobile telephone bills for these services without the consumer’s knowledge or consent.

AT&T Mobility is the first mobile telephone provider to enter into a national settlement to resolve allegations regarding cramming; AT&T Mobility was among the four major mobile carriers — in addition to Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile — that announced it would cease billing their customers for commercial PSMS charges last fall.

“Anyone with a mobile phone these days could have unwittingly signed up for one of these services,” said Mills in the statement released by her office.

“We believe that the practice was deceptive and unfair to consumers. It is a reminder that people should read their monthly bills carefully and question any charges that they are unsure of. This practice could amount to millions of dollars in illegitimate fees being racked up on the backs of unsuspecting Maine consumers.”

Under the terms of the settlement, AT&T Mobility is required to provide $80 million to refund consumers who were victims of cramming.

Beginning immediately, consumers can submit claims under the AT&T Mobility cramming refund program by visiting to find information about how to obtain a refund.

If consumers are unsure about whether they are eligible for a refund, they can visit the claims website or contact the Claims Administrator at 877-819-9692 for more information.