Crazy Frog: One of The Biggest Scams in History




Crazy Frog, loved and hated throughout its initial introduction in 2005 and into the future, the Frog has proved nothing but controversial. Although having recently garnered popularity with the younger Gen Z through Fortnite, only generations before will remember the real mess the frog caused to the public. 

Not only proving a nuisance for TV watchers, inundating every channel with the same monotonous sounds, but its involvement in predatory ringtone subscription models. Charging users $37 per month (adjusted for inflation) just to have access to basic ringtones, whilst charging them extra to actually buy anything. With reverse charging text messages, Jamster (the company behind Crazy Frog) would inflate users' mobile bills to hundreds of dollars per month. These actions would garner widespread media attention, and negative reactions towards the scam would render the frog one of the most hated fictional characters in history. 

The video provides an entertaining outline on the popularity of ringtones in 2005, and how Crazy Frog captivated the world, whilst tearing down the ringtone industry with it. Whilst in 2013, Jamster would go back to their old tricks, attempting to sell the $27 dollar subscription under the guise of a fake anti-virus application. This would eventually lead the company in hot water, as they would be ordered to pay $1 million by the Fair Trade Commission in restitution, leading to its eventual collapse. Although its managers stated their intentions to shake off Jamster's bad reputation and venture into more legitimate mobile-based content, the sentiment was too little too late. 

A story of annoyance, deception, and preying on vulnerable consumers, the startling Crazy Frog saga was lost in history and now finally resurrected. Whilst ringtones may be dead, it provides an interesting insight in how new technologies often play in a lawless paradise, with lawmakers often struggling to keep up with technology development. This can result in scams getting out of hand, and perpetrators walking away liability free. 

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