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Heaven help you if your car’s warranty is running out or you have a student loan. Or even if you do not. Those robocalls may start to be oppressive. According to robocall blocking app Hiya, there were more than 26 million such calls in 2018. They are annoying but sometimes people get calls because they have given out their phone number.

Adding a new phone only costs $40 per month. Surprise, that wasn’t the whole story because the phone itself costs $500. Hidden fees. Unexplained charges. These add up to billions in costs to consumers every year.

According to a Consumer Reports survey, about 59 percent of people have been charged hidden fees. Luckily, for consumers who did complain of hidden fees, two thirds got a refund.

Here are the top offenders in hidden fees and the percentage of people surveyed who reported them, according to Consumer Reports:

  • Telecommunication providers (69 percent)
  • Live entertainment and sporting events (44 percent)
  • Credit cards (36 percent)
  • Car purchases (34 percent)
  • Hotel (34 percent)
  • Air travel (31 percent)
  • Car rental (31 percent)

Ordinary activities online can put you onto a robocall list, as companies sometimes sell lists.

You might have managed to get on a list because you donated to a charity, signed up for a contest, or filled out an online meme. The worst cases are when you fill out an online form for interest rate information, student loan refinancing or event travel.

You can try robocall blocking apps. Often calls are made through randomly generated calling software located in another country. Those calls are almost impossible to stop.

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