Archive for May, 2008

Hooded sweatshirts being recalled

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Adio Footwear is recalling boys hooded fleece sweatshirts because the drawstrings on them pose a strangulation hazard.
Details are here.

Counterfeit checks in the mail

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

A “secret shopper” scam letter has surfaced in the Monroe area that tries to entice the recipient into cashing a bogus check for $3,990 in order to test the MoneyGram services offered through Wal-Mart stores.
Thomas Harmon of Monroe got one of the letters advising him that his application as a customer service representative for Universal Research Inc. had been approved.
Trouble is, Mr. Harmon never had applied for such a position and never heard of Universal Research.
The letter instructed him to cash the JP Morgan Chase bank check, keep $400 for himself, and wire the rest to a third location that would be revealed if he called a phone number to validate the payment.
Included with the letter and check was a “Customer Satisfaction Evaluation Tool” to rate the service received at the Wal-Mart service desk.
The Harmons didn’t fall for the ruse and noticed that the postmark on the letter was from Canada, a common source of telemarketing and postal scams.
“With the economy the way it is, a lot of people might fall for this,” Mr. Harmon said.
Felicia George, an inspector with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Detroit, said it appears to be another version of a common check scam.
“Its sounds like it’s a little bit of a twist on some of the counterfeit money order scams we’ve been looking at,” Ms. George said.
Scams attempting to trick consumers into cashing the bogus check and forwarding money to a third party have been common around the country over the past few years with several variations involving MoneyGram and Wal-Mart. If the checks are cashed by financial institutions – and they often are – the individuals who cash them are responsible for the lost funds.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center says the secret shopper and counterfeit check scams are numerous and often invoke the names of reputable banks or corporations. Victims receive bad checks, are instructed to deposit them, and then are asked to wire a percentage of the money to a third party, while using the rest of the money to complete their assignments. The scam succeeds when the fraudster is able to convert the victim’s wire transfer into cash before the bank realizes that the initial payment is counterfeit.

Realtors settle federal lawsuit

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

The National Association of Realtors has settled an U.S. Department of Justice anti-trust suit by agreeing to allow Internet brokers access to multiple-listing services and provide some membership privileges to them.
Details of the settlement may be found here.

VIP tabs could leave you DOA, FDA says

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

The Food and Drug Administration is seeking the recall of VIP tabs, a supplement marketed as a sexual enhancement pill because it contains undeclared drugs that could have deadly side effects.
Details may be found here.

Circuit breakers are counterfeit

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

About 371,000 circuit breakers labeled with the “Square D” name are being recalled because they were discovered to be counterfeit.
A photo, description and listing of the models affected can be found here.

Kids’ batting helmets being recalled

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Rawlings Junior Batting Helmets are being recalled because the paint on them has excessive lead content.
The helmets, made in China, were sold through much of last year at various sporting goods and other stores.

Some Scott’s lawn products recalled

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

A lot of people buy Scott’s Turf-Builder and other products in the spring to try to combat weeds or crabgrass while providing fertilization. Now, however, four different Scott’s products are being recalled because the pesticides they use were not registered with federal officials or marketing began before they were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Details and updates may be found here.

When “giant” is smaller than “big”

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Sparkle paper towels is redefining truth in advertising. has the absorbing story.

Combating unwanted spam, mail, calls

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

The Federal Citizen Information Center has a focus on how consumers can stop annoying mailings, e-mail, credit card offers, telemarketing and other unwanted forms of advertising or solicitations.
Check out all their tips here.

Mommy’s Bliss is baby’s bane

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

A cream marketed to nursing mothers has been found to contain ingredients that could cause adverse reactions in the nursing infants.
Details about the recall are here.

Save gas, ease utility bills

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

The Federal Trade Commission is offering a batch of tips for saving gasoline and also for cutting home utility b bills.
You might have heard most of them before, but there could be a couple nuggets of information you’ll find useful.
Click here for links to their brochures.

Pistons, Wings gear could be bogus

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

As the Detroit Pistons advance to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals this week and the Detroit Red Wings begin the Stanley Cup Finals Saturday, fans are prime targets for counterfeiters selling illegal and poorly produced knock-off merchandise, according to the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos.
Counterfeiters’ not only prey on fans, but legitimate retailers who believe they are purchasing authentic merchandise, only to learn later that they have obtained counterfeit products of inferior quality.
The illegal sale of counterfeit sports merchandise is a widespread and ongoing problem.
To avoid buying counterfeit, fans should:
Look for the hologram sticker or hangtag and a sewn-in label identifying the merchandise as “genuine” or “official,” as authorized by the NBA or NHL.
Shop at NBA- or NHL-authorized retail locations rather than buying items from street vendors and flea markets.
Beware of ripped tags, typographical errors, poor quality screen-printing, or irregular markings on apparel.

Disney sleeping bags, wands lead-tainted

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Pirates of the Carribbean sleeping bags made in China and sold through Disney stores are being recalled due to excessive lead content.
Details are here.
Tinker Bell wants, also sold in Disney stores, also have been found to have high lead levels.
Learn more here.

Sure Grip paint brushes recalled

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Sure Grip paint brushes, made for kids, are being recalled because of lead-laced paint on their bright yellow handles.
For more info and a photo, click here.

Floppy Friends are lead-laden

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Floppy Friends horse toys are being recalled because of excessive levels of lead.
Details are here.