A lawsuit filed by an iPhone owner alleges that AT&T makes monitoring data usage more difficult by not only overbilling its customers for data transactions, but also charging for so-called “phantom” traffic — actions the customer didn’t initiate, reports “ABC News” (http://macte.ch/7uIRl).

The lawsuit, filed by AT&T customer Patrick Hendricks in the Northern District of California and seeking class action status, accuses AT&T of breach of contract and fraud for systematically overcharging for data usage.

“AT&T’s billing system for iPhone and iPad data transactions is like a rigged gas pump that charges for a full gallon when it pumps only nine-tenths of a gallon into your car’s tank,” the complaint says, attempting to represent all U.S. AT&T customers with a limited data plan for Apple’s iPhone or iPad.

Barry Davis, an attorney with Thornton, Davis & Fein, P.A. in Miami, the firm representing Hendricks, said the suit was filed after an independent computer engineer verified the overcharge claims made by AT&T customers, reports “ABC News.” The engineer spent two months testing about a dozen different smartphones and found that AT&T iPhones and iPads consistently overstated data usage and billed for “phantom data traffic,” Davis said.