The Federal Trade Commission ordered Jesta, doing business as Jamster, to refund charges made on phone bills when people playing Angry Birds on Android phones inadvertently clicked on Jesta's phony virus-scan ads.
Jesta, based in Los Angeles, typically charged $9.99 a month after users clicked on pop-up ads claiming their phones were infected with a virus and their Androids needed to be protected.
Jesta used a billing method known as Wireless Access Protocol, or WAP, billing. The FTC said WAP billing captures a consumer’s mobile phone number, which is used to place charges on their phone bill without needing the consumer to input any information.
In their investigation, the FTC found one internal email from a Jesta official who “anxious to move [Jesta’s] business out of being a scam and more into a valued service.”
In addition to the refunds, Jesta was also ordered to pay a $1.2 million fine to the FTC. Jesta must automatically make refunds to customers who were billed from Dec. 8, 2011 to Aug. 20, 2013.
Photo: Associated Press