Mobile phone service provider T-Mobile USA Inc. was charged Tuesday by the Federal Trade Commission with making hundreds of millions of dollars by placing charges on phone bills for purported "premium" subscriptions that, in many cases, were bogus charges and never authorized by customers.

T-Mobile received anywhere from 35% to 40% of the total amount charged to consumers for subscriptions for content such as flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip that commonly cost $9.99 per month, the FTC alleges. The company in some cases kept billing its customers for these services offered by scammers for many years after becoming aware of signs that the charges were fraudulent, according to the complaint.

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