• RANSOMWARE: A $1-BILLION
    A YEAR CRIME AND GROWING
    • One of the most dangerous threats on the Internet is expected to get even worse this year – with more victims and more money lost. And yet, most computer users aren’t fully aware of the danger of ransomware and are not prepared to defend their data.


CONSUMERS SCORE SOME SIGNIFICANT VICTORIES IN 2016
American consumers had a pretty good year in 2016. The stock market was up, wages were up and inflation remained in check. Some new laws and regulations also gave us added protections and safeguards.
 
FAKE ADULT ENTERTAINMENT AGENCY SUED FOR DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES
The Attorney General in Washington state files a consumer protection lawsuit against a Seattle man, charging him with setting up a fake talent agency for adult entertainers in order to trick women into posing nude and having sex with him.
 
STUDY: BANK OVERDRAFTS ARE TOO FREQUENT AND TOO EXPENSIVE
The reports from the Pew Charitable Trusts say expensive overdraft fees have become a "frequent and harmful" practice throughout the banking industry -- even at small banks.
 
RETURNING A GIFT? SOME STORES HAVE TIGHTENED THE RULES
As millions of Americans head back to the stores to return gifts, a few major retailers have altered their previously generous open-ended return policies this year. Here’s a look at the major changes.
 
STUCK ON HOLD? THE WORST OFFENDERS INCLUDE APPLE, AMAZON & SEVERAL AIRLINES
A Canadian company, Fonolo ,tracked every Twitter complaint that included the phrase "on hold with." Based on an analysis of those 600,000 tweets, Fonolo created a list of the worst offenders and some well-known companies made the list.
 
YES, YOU CAN POST THAT NEGATIVE ONLINE REVIEW, CONGRESS SAYS
Congress has passed the Consumer Review Freedom Act. It reaffirms your right to post truthful negative reviews about a product or service provider — even if you signed an agreement that bans you from doing so.
 
HOW SPECIAL 0% FINANCING OFFERS CAN END UP COSTING YOU HUNDREDS
Those deferred interest payment plans sound really good – and they can be, if you know all the rules and follow them. Otherwise...they can be very costly.
 
STUDY: CYBER THREATS GROW BUT WE REMAIN COMPLACENT
Despite the constant threat of getting hacked, many people still aren't motivated to protect their personal information, according to a new study from Norton. It’s a really huge disconnect that’s helping the criminals.
 
WHY DO WE KEEP BUYING CLOTHES WE NEVER WEAR?
Be honest: Are there clothes in your closet that you've never worn? Maybe a blouse or skirt that you just had to have, that's sitting in your closet with the price tag still on it. If so, you're not alone. Find out why so many people do this and how to break the habit.
 
FTC CHARGES NETSPEND WITH USING DECEPTIVE MARKETING TO SELL ITS PREPAID CARDS
The ads for NetSpend, one of the country's largest providers of prepaid debit cards, promise "immediate access to your funds." But that's not always the case, the Federal Trade Commission charges in a lawsuit against the company.

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