Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(ken fager)

Here are nine of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Police Investigating Death During Walmart Shoplifting Incident

Police Investigating Death During Walmart Shoplifting Incident

Early on Sunday morning, a 62-year-old man piled DVDs worth $380.74 in a shopping cart at a Florida Walmart and headed for the door. When he couldn’t produce a receipt for the greeter, he ran out the door, and employees followed him. He collapsed and was resuscitated, but died in the hospital 12 hours later. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Nordstrom And Nordstrom Rack Accept Each Other’s Returns

You won’t see it plastered on a sign behind the customer service counter, but here’s some useful information for shoppers: you can return items that you purchased at Nordstrom Rack to a regular Nordstrom store, and the transaction works the other way around, too. Yet while that’s very nice of them, it’s an indicator of an interesting issue in retail: while omnichannel retail is hot, should they be omni-brand? [More]

Bank-Backed Lawmakers Accuse CFPB Of Hurting Consumers By Trying To Regulate Payday Loans

Bank-Backed Lawmakers Accuse CFPB Of Hurting Consumers By Trying To Regulate Payday Loans

It’s never a good sign for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when it’s called to testify at a Congressional subcommittee hearing subtitled “The CFPB’s Assault on Access to Credit and Trampling of State and Tribal Sovereignty.” And so it should come as little surprise that bank-backed members of the House Financial Services Committee is trying to paint the agency’s efforts to rein in predatory lending as an attack on the very people the CFPB is trying to protect. [More]

CBS DFW reporter Cristin Severance ordered items from various Facebook advertisers. None delivered what was promised. (photo: CBS DFW)

Don’t Be Shocked When Cheap Clothes Advertised On Facebook Aren’t What You Ordered

If you see an ad on Facebook pitching clothing for significantly less than what you’d pay in the store, you might be tempted to give it a shot. But be prepared to end up with a shirt, jacket, dress, or shoes that resemble the online photo as much as I resemble a young Carey Grant. [More]

(frankieleon)

Credit Card Processor For Work-At-Home Scam Companies Settles FTC Charges

When you respond to an ad promising untold wealth if you start an at-home business, someone in a call center will contact you and try to extract your credit or debit card number. There needs to be a credit card processing company involved to run that transaction, though, and the company that did so for the Tax Club work-at-home scam operation has now settled up with the Federal Trade Commission for its role in the scam. [More]

(lindsay.dee.bunny) and (AlishaV)

Whole Foods’ New 365 Stores Might Include Tattoo Parlors Because Millennials

Everyone knows how annoying it is when all you want is a bunch of carrots, some celery, crusty bread, and body art that will never come off your skin without an expensive, painful removal process, and you just can’t find a one-stop shop for it all. Here comes Whole Foods with its new “365 by Whole Foods Market” stores, which may include in-house tattoo parlors, because that makes complete and total sense. [More]

Senate Passes Bill Making Internet Tax Ban Permanent

Senate Passes Bill Making Internet Tax Ban Permanent

Nearly two decades ago, Congress passed the first Internet Tax Freedom Act, establishing that — with a handful of grandfathered exceptions — local, state, and federal governments couldn’t impose taxes on Internet access. Problem is, that law has had to be renewed over and over, each time with an expiration date. But today, the U.S. Senate finally passed a piece of legislation that would make the tax ban permanent. [More]

Protect Your Heart (And Wallet) From These Valentine’s Day Scams

Protect Your Heart (And Wallet) From These Valentine’s Day Scams

This is the year. It’s the year you’ll wake up on Feb. 15 without the stinging sensation of intense regret that inevitably follows after mourning Valentine’s Day at the bottom of a booze bottle, covered in bits of melted chocolate stuck to you in your sleep, because your beloved turned out to be a scammer. Because this year, you’re going to be prepared for any romance scams that may come your way. [More]

(David Bivins)

MoneyGram To Pay $13M, Revamp Policies To Protect Against Wire Transfer Fraud

While advances in technology now allow us to zap money from our bank accounts to our friends and family members with the touch of a button, some people continue to rely on money transfer services. But as we’ve reported several times in the past, these companies are often the service of choice for scammers looking to get their hands on your hard-earned money. One such outfit, MoneyGram, today agreed to revamp its policies and provide $13 million in restitution to consumers who were harmed by fraudsters using the service.  [More]

Google promises the change is subtle.

Not Sure If That EMail Is Authenticated Or Secure? GMail Will Start Warning You

A solid 25 years into the all-digital era, email continues to evolve. So this week, one of the world’s biggest providers is adding a few small features to help protect consumers. [More]

25 Attorneys General Agree: Close Government’s Robocall Debt-Collection Loophole

25 Attorneys General Agree: Close Government’s Robocall Debt-Collection Loophole

Last fall, with a government shutdown looming, Congress passed an emergency spending bill that also included a lovely little loophole giving the federal government the authority to make obnoxious, pre-recorded and/or autodialed debt-collection robocalls. Some lawmakers quickly introduced legislation intended to correct that anti-consumer move, but it’s been stuck in committee since. This week, attorneys general from two dozen states and District of Columbia called on the Senate to finally consider this legislation. [More]

Diabolical IRS Phone Scammers Call SWAT Team, Tell Victim They’re There To Collect

Diabolical IRS Phone Scammers Call SWAT Team, Tell Victim They’re There To Collect

IRS phone scams, where the perpetrators call up victims and demand that overdue taxes that they don’t owe be paid by prepaid debit cards, are cruel schemes that vacuum millions of dollars out of the pockets of people who don’t know any better. The only way they could be worse would be if they actually endangered victims’ safety while wasting law enforcement time and taxpayer money. They’ve figured out how to do this. [More]

MySpace Still Exists, Parent Company Sells Social Network’s Remains To Time Inc.

MySpace Still Exists, Parent Company Sells Social Network’s Remains To Time Inc.

Prepare to transport yourself back to 2003, kids, before Facebook, when a profile meant a list of your Top 5 friends and a flashy, custom design, and MySpace ruled the social media realm (Friendster, sit down). Apparently, it still exists today, and Time Inc. now owns what’s left of it. [More]

(frankieleon)

Timeshare Telemarketing Scam Bilked $25M From Consumers

Three Florida men pleaded guilty recently to assisting in an elaborate telemarketing operation that defrauded $25 million from timeshare owners in the U.S. and Canada.  [More]

$70K Worth Of Stolen Cheese Wasting Away In WI Landfill, Fate Of $90K Worth Of Parmesan Still Undecided

$70K Worth Of Stolen Cheese Wasting Away In WI Landfill, Fate Of $90K Worth Of Parmesan Still Undecided

Cross your fingers, my fellow dairy lovers: the fate of $90,000 worth of innocent Parmesan is hanging in the balance. [More]

User Agreement For Amazon Game Engine Includes Zombie Apocalypse Clause

User Agreement For Amazon Game Engine Includes Zombie Apocalypse Clause

No one wants to — and virtually no one does — read the lengthy, legalese-filled user agreements. But for those who do choose to plow through the mouseprint, Amazon has left an amusing zombie-flavored treat in one of its contracts. [More]

Fast, faster, fastest... eventually.

Qualcomm’s New LTE Gigabit Modem Will Make Phones Very Fast… If It Ever Gets A Network To Connect To

You may not know much about Qualcomm, but odds are fairly good that you come into contact with their tech daily. Their tech powers the majority of Android phone brands, including Samsung, LG, Nokia, Motorola, and HTC handsets. They also have a reach into most connected devices markets, including “smart” home appliances, cars, wearable tech, and health care. Today, they’ve dropped an announcement that they hope will change mobile data forever… but there’s a catch. [More]