Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Aug 15, 2016 Postmates has failed to make Uber-for-anything cheap, and is quietly misleading customers about it
QUOTE: On-demand startups are falling short of their founding promise to make instant-anything cheap, and they don’t want customers to know. That’s made prices on many of these platforms not just expensive, but also outright misleading.
Quartz Jul 03, 2016 Amazon Is Quietly Eliminating List Prices
QUOTE: The problem with list prices or, as they are sometimes called, manufacturers’ suggested retail prices, is that they are regularly more of a marketing concept than what anyone is actually charging. When Amazon was saying the list price of the Breville Infuser was $800, Breville itself was selling the machine for $500 — about the same as Amazon. Other retailers sell it for $500, too.
New York Times May 31, 2016 Former Trump University Workers Call the School a ‘Lie’ and a ‘Scheme’ in Testimony
QUOTE: In blunt testimony revealed on Tuesday, former managers of Trump University, the for-profit school started by Donald J. Trump, portray it as an unscrupulous business that relied on high-pressure sales tactics, employed unqualified instructors, made deceptive claims and exploited vulnerable students willing to pay tens of thousands for Mr. Trump’s insights.
New York Times Feb 02, 2014 PSA: Missed Call From A Mystery Number? Be Careful.
QUOTE: But this is the first time I’ve seen them boil it down to a simple missed call. It plays on the ubiquity of smartphones, and that… no one really calls each other anymore....How To Avoid Gettin’ Scammed:
TechCrunch Jan 20, 2014 On Facebook, clicking 'like' can help scammers
QUOTE: Often, Senft said, Facebook pages are created with the sole purpose of spreading viral content that will get lots of likes and shares. Once the page creators have piled up hundreds of thousands of likes and shares, they'll strip the page and promote something else, like products that they get a commission for selling. Or, they may turn around and sell the page through black-market websites to someone who does the same. It's a way to trick Facebook's algorithm...
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 02, 2013 Couple fined for negative online review
QUOTE: A Utah couple is facing a $3,500 fine and a damaged credit score for doing what many people do after a bad purchasing experience: posting an online review.
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 04, 2013 At the Trial of a Psychic, It’s Awkward for Her Clients
QUOTE: It is one thing, after having forked over tens of thousands of dollars to a psychic who warned that you had evil spirits blocking your happiness, to become suspicious and demand a refund. And, when that does not happen, to go to the police and swear out a complaint....For two women who accused her of fraud, this week was the first time they were asked, at least publicly, what in the world they had been thinking.
New York Times Feb 26, 2013 Apple settles suit over in-game iTunes purchases by kids
QUOTE: Apple has settled a lawsuit filed by parents who say their kids downloaded free games from the mobile App Store and then proceeded to rack up hefty bills buying in-game extras.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 21, 2013 Steps to Guard Against Identity Fraud
QUOTE: The annual report found that the incidence of identity theft overall was about 5.3 percent of consumers, compared with 4.9 percent the year before. Much of the increase was driven by so-called “new account” fraud, involving the unauthorized opening of general use or store brand credit cards, as well as “account takeover” fraud, in which the identity thieves may change consumers’ contact information — like their mailing addresses — to gain illegal access to their accounts
New York Times Sep 15, 2012 Charitable donations benefit telemarketers
QUOTE: Charities should never agree to contracts with telemarketers where they receive only a small percentage of the funds donated through the calls, says Ken Berger, who runs Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest nonprofit watchdog group. “These organizations were created to provide public benefit,” he says. “The fact that the vast majority of money is instead lining the pockets of telemarketers defies the whole reason behind the very creation of these charities.”
Washington Post Jul 14, 2012 This global financial fraud and its gatekeepers: The media's 'bad apple' thesis no longer works. We're seeing systemic corruption in banking – and systemic collusion
QUOTE: The notion that the entire global financial system is riddled with systemic fraud – and that key players in the gatekeeper roles, both in finance and in government, including regulatory bodies, know it and choose to quietly sustain this reality – is one that would have only recently seemed like the frenzied hypothesis of tinhat-wearers, but this week's headlines make such a conclusion, sadly, inevitable.
Guardian Unlimited Mar 14, 2012 Waging war on shady locksmiths
QUOTE: [Google says] "We’re aware of the gaming practices happening in the locksmith industry — practices which long predate Google and have affected the Yellow Pages for decades. We’ve implemented several measures to combat this issue, including improving our spam detection algorithms and working with the locksmith industry to find solutions."
Washington Post Feb 08, 2012 States Negotiate $26 Billion Deal for Homeowners
QUOTE: After months of painstaking talks, government authorities and five of the nation’s biggest banks have agreed to a $26 billion settlement that could provide relief to nearly two million current and former American homeowners harmed by the bursting of the housing bubble, state and federal officials said. It is part of a broad national settlement aimed at halting the housing market’s downward slide and holding the banks accountable for foreclosure abuses.
New York Times Jan 24, 2012 In Address, Obama Makes Pitch for Economic Fairness
QUOTE: President Obama pledged on Tuesday night to use government power to balance the scale between America’s rich and the rest of the public, trying to present an election-year choice between continued leadership toward an economy “built to last” and what he called irresponsible policies of the past that caused an economic collapse.
New York Times Oct 27, 2011 Confessions of a Gold Scammer
QUOTE: ...Jamie Campany, sat down with ABC News' Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross to reveal how he tricked his hundreds of victims out of nearly $30 million....his telemarketers worked their victims, mostly upper middle class business people who Campany said let their egos get the best of them.
Yahoo News Aug 01, 2011 Death & Taxes & Identity Theft
QUOTE: National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson testified before the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight, suggesting the [Death Master File (DMF)] provides significant opportunities for identity thieves to commit tax fraud and should be limited.
Forbes May 25, 2011 PeopleClaim: Taking Complaints Public Via the Web
QUOTE: A site called PeopleClaim aspires to go beyond mere venting, to assist customers in filing a complaint with the service provider in question....PeopleClaim aims to provide an alternative to the legal system for consumers with beefs who may not have the time or money to go even to small claims court...
New York Times May 19, 2011 My Take: Doomsdayers show what’s wrong with all religion
QUOTE: Religion is used by dishonest people who claim to know the way to the one thing humans want most: immortality. To combat fear of death, religious people ignore their intellect, believe the lie, and follow the preacher, usually blindly and sometimes to the point of insanity....He realized that religion is a great way to make tax-free money off the backs of well-meaning people...
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 20, 2011 Retired bus drivers lose everything in Ponzi scheme
QUOTE: Unlike Bernie Madoff's multi billion dollar scam -- which targeted many wealthy investors -- this smaller-scale fraud has stolen lifelines from retirees of modest means… "People losing their retirement money puts them in a much more serious position, with some of the victims in this case actually having to go back to work -- in addition to losing their homes and money."
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 02, 2011 When Abuse of Older Patients Is Financial
QUOTE: Bilking old people is not new, said Steve Irwin, commissioner of the Pennsylvania Securities Commission, which is participating in the program. “Financial fraud is abuse, but it is less recognized and less reported.”
New York Times Feb 21, 2011 Vatican warns of papal ticket scams
QUOTE: But officials became concerned after hearing about "unauthorized offers by some tour operators, especially on the Internet," asking people to pay fees for access to the event, the Catholic News Service reported.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 16, 2011 Former airline agent admits scamming travelers
QUOTE: low-rent Ponzi scheme took advantage of unsuspecting air travelers who thought they were buying vouchers for plane tickets when they were really buying worthless pieces of paper,"...
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 15, 2011 Vt. Guard chief warns he's target of Facebook Scam
QUOTE: A Facebook and Skype scammer used the name and photo of a high-ranking Vermont National Guard general to steal $3,000 from a Canadian woman in what's believed to be one of a number of frauds that exploit the authority of the military.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis/St. Paul) Feb 01, 2011 More on Spotting A.T.M. Skimmers
QUOTE: Skimmers applied to card readers are designed to capture debit card magnetic stripe data, while tiny wireless cameras or overlays to existing personal identification number pads are designed to capture PIN information. Once thieves capture such data, they can use it to make fake cards or sell the information on the Internet to others.
New York Times Jan 17, 2011 Facebook con artists on the rise
QUOTE: Leaving your social network profiles public could leave friends and colleagues at risk of fraudulent acts
InfoWorld Dec 20, 2010 Homes at Risk, and No Help From Lawyers
QUOTE: a new state law that sharply restricts how [lawyers working on loan modifications] can be paid.... unintended consequence: the honest lawyers can no longer afford to assist Ms. Bell and all the others who feel helpless before lenders that they see as elusive, unyielding and skilled at losing paperwork.
New York Times Dec 13, 2010 How spammers will poison your social network: Spammers wrecked e-mail, then they ruined search, and soon they'll go after your friends and family
QUOTE: your social graph is the next ripe target for shady marketers. As services increasingly enable you to search for things influenced by your social graph, spammer types will try to infiltrate your social group and sway the results. Here's how they'll do it:
InfoWorld Dec 07, 2010 The Tactics of Discover Card Reps
QUOTE: lawsuit alleges that Discover Bank and its affiliated processing company made “aggressive, misleading and deceptive” telemarketing calls to sign people up for these products, tricking people to sign up for the add-on products and in some cases, charging consumers for enrollment without agreement from the consumer.
New York Times Nov 26, 2010 A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web
QUOTE: as Ms. Rodriguez’s all-too-cursory Google search demonstrated, the company can show up in the most coveted place on the Internet’s most powerful site. Which means the owner of DecorMyEyes might be more than just a combustible bully with a mean streak and a potty mouth. He might also be a pioneer of a new brand of anti-salesmanship — utterly noxious retail — that is facilitated by the quirks and shortcomings of Internet commerce and that tramples long-cherished traditions of customer service, like deference and charm.
New York Times Jun 27, 2010 Travelers, be wary of 'data passing' online
QUOTE: "Data pass" refers to a shady practice of sending credit card information along to a third party at the end of a transaction without the buyer's explicit approval. In years past, travelers often found themselves unwittingly enrolled in clubs that automatically charged a monthly enrollment fee while travel companies raked in millions in profits, according to investigators and consumers.
Washington Post Jun 25, 2010 Cellphone Charges, Rung Up by a Thief (The Haggler)
QUOTE: When a credit card company notices spending patterns way beyond a customer’s norm, it suspends the card until it’s sure the card is in the customer’s possession. Shouldn’t a cellphone company do the same?
New York Times Jun 18, 2010 Peddling Relief, Industry Puts Debtors in a Deeper Hole
QUOTE: Consumers rarely emerge from debt settlement programs with their credit card balances eliminated, these critics say, and many wind up worse off, with severely damaged credit, ceaseless threats from collection agents and lawsuits from creditors.
New York Times May 21, 2010 In a Land of Cynics and Saps, the Skeptic Is King
QUOTE: “I think cynical people are extraordinarily gullible,” said Stephen Greenspan, emeritus professor of educational psychology at the University of Connecticut and the author of “Annals of Gullibility” (Praeger, 2008). “They are gullible to ideas that reinforce their point of view.”
New York Times May 18, 2010 EFF: Forget cookies, your browser has fingerprints
QUOTE: Even without cookies, popular browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox give Web sites enough information to get a unique picture of their visitors about 94 percent of the time, according to research compiled over the past few months by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
MacWorld Apr 08, 2010 IRS registration of tax-return preparers is long overdue
QUOTE: The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed guidelines in an effort to keep track of the estimated 1.2 million paid tax-return preparers....When the IRS issued its 2010 "dirty dozen" scams, tax-return preparation fraud topped the list.
Washington Post Mar 17, 2010 Reducing the Anxiety of Paying Online
QUOTE: Deciding which online payment method to use would seem to be a simple matter of picking whichever offers higher security. But the wise consumer also weighs the legal protections in the case of theft: the best security and the lowest liability don’t necessarily go together. Here’s the lowdown on the risks associated with the most popular ways to pay online...
New York Times Mar 01, 2010 Misdials help 'crammers' ring up millions in phone bill scam
QUOTE: sneak small, unauthorized fees onto thousands of monthly bills and hope the charges would go unnoticed, court documents state. The scheme, known as "cramming,"...
Washington Post Jan 18, 2010 Scam Alert: No PIN at the Pump: You swipe your debit card, and ‘skimmers’ swipe your money
QUOTE: “skimming,” in which crooks place a portable card-reading device—readily available over the Internet—inside the pump. When the customer inserts his debit card and enters the required personal identification number, the device captures both the data from the card’s magnetic stripe and the PIN.
AARP Jan 01, 2010 Consumer Confidential
QUOTE: Do you know when you're being hustled by bankers, mortgage brokers, and investment peddlers? Check out our tip sheet on financial pros' everyday deceptions—and how to protect yourself against them
AARP Bulletin Nov 21, 2009 Growth of counterfeit drugs sparks international response: Authorities in the U.S. and across the globe conduct raids this week to intercept fake medications.
QUOTE: Counterfeit drugs are the latest -- and potentially most dangerous -- front in the long-running battle against intellectual-property crimes
Los Angeles Times Oct 22, 2009 F.D.A. Lags in Banning Researchers After Fraud
QUOTE: In a review of 18 proceedings, investigators for the Government Accountability Office found that the F.D.A. took from 1 to 11 years to complete its process to ban researchers. This means many who were convicted of fraud remained eligible to conduct experiments for years.
New York Times Oct 08, 2009 How to Stop the Counterfeit-Medicine Drugs Trade
QUOTE: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 50% of drugs sold online have either been falsified or altered in some way.
Time Magazine Aug 19, 2009 A Lawsuit Tries to Get at Hackers Through the Banks They Attack
QUOTE: A lawsuit filed on Wednesday against some of the most shadowy Internet criminals... is being used to pry information from a group that is nearly as reclusive as the hackers: banks whose computers have been compromised.
New York Times Aug 10, 2009 I Love a Mark in Uniform: Kidnapping. Falsified documents. Hooters nights. Meet the sleazebucket car dealers who prey on our troops.
QUOTE: authorities ranging from local prosecutors to state regulatory boards to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to the military itself have done relatively little to address the proliferation of dubious auto sales-and-credit tactics [used on military enlistees].
Mother Jones Aug 07, 2009 Meet “the world’s most annoying Web site:” Social-networking site Tagged.com has become a target of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the bane of a multitude of customers. (Brainstorm Tech)
QUOTE: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says he plans to sue [Tagged.com] for false advertising, deceptive business, and identity theft.
Fortune Aug 02, 2009 Our Privacy, Your Business (Defcon)
QUOTE: Big business,[privacy expert Andrea] Matwyshyn says, needs to do a much better job of keeping customers abreast of how they're dealing with big security threats.
Forbes Jul 17, 2009 China reins in more rights activists by seizing computers
QUOTE: In another sign of the Chinese authorities clamping down on civil rights activists, on Friday officials confiscated the computers of lawyers working on last year's tainted milk scandal.
Christian Science Monitor Jun 28, 2009 Renters Get Swindled and Scammed
QUOTE: IN New York City, the rental market can seem a lot like the black market. Renters are accustomed to feeling hustled, fleeced, and generally at the mercy of predatory forces beyond their control — and that’s when everything goes O.K....the busy spring-summer rental season is unfolding in a time of falling rental prices, which means too-good-to-be-true deals — the con artist’s calling card — seem more credible than they have in recent years.
New York Times May 25, 2009 Robocall case sheds light on a secretive industry
QUOTE: court documents filed this month in a Federal Trade Commission case against a Florida company -- Transcontinental Warranty Inc. -- provide what authorities say is a look inside a telemarketing operation [robocalls] that used widespread recorded calls and misrepresentations in selling its product.
Los Angeles Times Feb 05, 2009 Safety rules on lead in kids' products perplex and polarize
QUOTE: A federal law taking effect Tuesday makes it illegal for anyone to sell children's toys, books, clothes and jewelry if the items contain virtually any lead or phthalates... But testing whether the products contain either is not required for a year.Toy Industry Association President Carter Keithley says the decision amounts to a "don't ask, don't tell, but don't sell" policy.
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