Joe Bindbeutel

via Flickr/papalars

Lawsuits filed by the Missouri Attorney General's office against three companies that provide phone services have been settled, and their customers in Missouri will receive nearly $300,000 in refunds.

The companies were accused of engaging in a practice called "cramming."  Joe Bindbeutel, chief of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, says cramming occurs when a phone company levies unauthorized charges onto its customers' monthly bills.

Tim Lloyd, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Attorney General's office is warning the public to be on guard against price gouging following last week's round of tornadoes and thunderstorms that pounded the St. Louis area.

Joe Bindbeutel is Chief Counsel of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.  He says so far they've received some second-hand reports of price gouging.