'American Idol' Producers Claim Scam
According to the lawsuit filed by FremantleMedia North America and 19 TV Ltd., Telemarketing Inc. set up toll-free call-in lines to fool viewers into calling a 900 toll number.
Every Tuesday, "American Idol" fans can vote for their favorite contestant by dialing a toll-free 866 number. According to the suit, Telemarketing Inc. set up a hotline with the same telephone number, except with an 800 prefix instead of 866.
Those who called the 800 number received instructions to call a 900 toll number, the show producers charged. The calls cost consumers 99 cents to $1.99, according to the suit.
Telemarketing Inc. made about $250,000 in this fashion, according to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.