Some 10 million Americans are considered “unbanked,” often because they are believed to pose too high a credit risk for a bank to offer them a standard checking account. But the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau believes many of these people could be brought into the fold if more banks were to offer lower-risk deposit accounts that provided the benefits of a checking account without being a risk to the financial institution. [More]
Imagine the look in your child’s eye when they open one last gift on Christmas morning. This one isn’t a toy car, a baby doll, or some electronic, it’s a handwritten letter from everyone’s favorite big guy, Santa. But for every legitimate company that offers to send “Santa letters” or provide calls from Jolly Ol’ St. Nick, there’s bound to be another that just wants to Scrooge you out of your money — or worse. [More]
Rent-to-own stores offer cash-strapped consumers the ability to take home a new refrigerator, living room furniture set and hundred of other items by allowing them to pay a little each month. But, as we’ve reported in the past, what seems like a convenient years-long payment plan often adds hundreds – even thousands – of dollars to the price tag of a product. To ensure potential customers of rent-to-own stores know what they’re getting into, our colleagues at Consumer Reports put together a helpful video spelling out the potential dangers of such retail models. [More]
Bitcoin has recently been dominating the headlines with stories about the possible outing of the mysterious inventor, college groups handing out the virtual currency to students and some kind of new cologne. But for all the popularity the new form of payment has garnered, the Securities and Exchange Commission is warning investors of the dangers posed by the currency. [More]
Nothing can interrupt your productivity quite like having your computer catching fire. If you own one of the new Sony Vaio laptops that’s an actual possibility. [More]
The amusing name belied the deadly and illegal contents. “The Cat Be Unemployed” read the package, featuring a yellow background with a bright-eyed cartoon feline and thick black Chinese characters underneath. Within, was rat poison, and the chemical brodifacoum at 61 times its legal limit. It doesn’t kill just rodents. [More]
Lash-lengthening drug Latisse can make your eyelashes longer — but it can have some pretty hardcore side effects for a cosmetic. The FDA has issued a warning letter to the manufacturer (PDF) of the glaucoma-drug-turned-cosmetic-product, saying that many claims on its website are misleading and, in fact, unlawful.
How do you define a scam? Does your definition include anything where you have to put down money upfront in order to get discounts later? Maybe it should. Meet Stephen and Jean Liang of Kansas City, Missouri. They went to a presentation for a travel club, and ended up joining for $7,500– with the condition that they could cancel after 3 days. Before they left, they were offered a discount for Red Lobster. They thought it was a bonus for joining the club. It wasn’t.
SUNY Fredonia warns a cheap decorative lamp is setting dorm rooms on fire. Pretty, inexpensive lamps like these can often be found in college dorms and studio apartments.
In two separate student rooms, the plastic shades melted on the lamps. In one room, this caused the build-up of toxic fumes and the melted plastic from the shade burned a hole in the bedspread. The second instance involved another student who had turned on the lamp and, within 15 minutes, the shade melted and the heat began to turn a poster on the wall brown.
Underwriters Laboratories, the group that certifies that things won’t burn down dorms and studio apartments, believes the lamp in question is different from the one they approved. They are withholding their seal from new lamps, effectively shutting down production.
“Non-prescription pain relievers used by millions of U.S. consumers need stronger health warnings regarding liver or stomach risk, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.” The drugs in questions are acetaminophen (Tylenol), and NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). In particular acetaminophen is associated with liver problems.
Consumer Reports has an excellent article this morning warning against the fraud that is the extended warranty. From the article: