Archive for January, 2011

Watch those penny stock tips

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

A guy running a Web site that provides tips on penny stocks is being called on the carpet by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Seems the operator of www.OTCstockexchange.com was touting stocks with predictions that the prices would rise substantially. The only thing rising consistently was his bank account from the payments he was receiving from the companies behind the inexpensive stocks. He also would buy the stocks himself, tout them, watch the price rise, then liquidate his holdings.
For details, click here.
There are a bunch of operators out there hyping penny stocks. Many of them have serious ethical problems.

Arctic Cat recalls some snowmobiles

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Arctic Cat is recalling about 16,500 snowmobiles sold since 2009 because the front suspension can crack and cause a loss of control.
The company has recorded 13 incidents in which the suspension has cracked.
For details on the recall, click here.

Solar inverters might cause solar flares

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

About 25,000 Xantrex solar inverters are being recalled because the wiring is flawed and the resulting arcing could blow the cover off of the inverter.
These inverters typically are used in locations where solar panels or other solar power sources are tied into the utility grid.
For more details on the recall, click here.

More info on package delivery postcards

Friday, January 14th, 2011

A company operating as Summit Package Services, Express Package Services, Apex Services and other names continues to send out postcards nationwide indicating that the recipient missed a package delivery.
The cards contain a number for the consumer to call. When they do, they are pitched a proposal for a vacation package.
The company behind it appears to be CDA Consulting of Whitehouse, Texas.
The Better Business Bureau in Texas has compiled nearly 100 consumer complaints about the practices and has given the firm an “F” rating.
For details, including names of company principals and details of some of the complaints filed, click here.

Don’t eat Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge bars

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Candy Dynamics of Indiana is recalling all flavors of its Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge chew bars because the Pakistan-made food bars contain excessive levels of lead.
For details, on the recall, click here.
No other Toxic Waste products are affected by the recall.

Recall targets defective auto sunroofs

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Webasto is recalling more than 283,000 automotive sunroofs because the adhesive bonding can give way, causing the glass panel of the sunroof to detach.
The sunroofs were installed in a variety of vehicles. For more information and ways to tell if the sunroof in your car is among those affected, click here.

Feds close out “Classic Close-outs”

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission has shut down and fined those behind Classic Close-outs, a Web-based sellers of clothing and other merchandise.
The operators were found to make unauthorized charges to the credit cards of former customers. When some customers disputed the charges with their bankcard companies, the Classic response was that the fees were for membership in a buyer’s club, even though they weren’t.
For details on the enforcement action, click here.

Feds pull plug on auto warranty robocaller

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered a seller of extended auto warranties to stop telemarketing its product because its sales pitches misled consumers into thinking the firm was affiliated with automakers.
To read more about the ban on My Car Solutions, click here.

Some dehumidifiers can start fires

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

About 198,000 GE and Professional branch dehumidifiers are being recalled because they can short-circuit and cause a fire. For photos, model numbers affected and more information, click here.

FDA warns of continuing extortion scam

Monday, January 10th, 2011

The Food & Drug Administration is warning the public about a continuing extortion scam in which people posing as FDA agents call customers of online pharmacies and threaten to pursue criminal charges unless the pharmaceutical customer pays a fee.
For details on the scam, click here.

Some sump pumps can electrocute users

Monday, January 10th, 2011

About 21,000 submersible pumps with float values, often used as sump pumps in homes, are being recalled because they were installed without ground fault interruption mechanisms, meaning they pose an electrocution hazard to users.
The models bear the brand names of Goulds, Red Jacket or Bell & Gossett.
Owners shouldn’t try to remove the pumps because water pools or wet surfaces they are in contact with could produce a shock. Instead, technicians will be sent to the home to remove the recalled pumps.
For more details, click here.

Best, worst bottled water

Friday, January 7th, 2011

The Environmental Working Group analyzed nearly 200 brands of bottled water and rated them based on how much information the bottlers provide on the source of their water and other factors.
EWG gave bad marks to the 10 top-selling brands. Perhaps more important, the non-profit group said tap water run through a filter probably is better than any bottled water you can buy.
For details of the report on Yahoo, click here.

State warns of fraudulent mailings

Friday, January 7th, 2011

State officials are warning Michigan licensed residential builders, and maintenance and alteration contractors to be aware of a possible scam that involves a mailing they may have received which looks deceptively like a mailing from the Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).
The mailing appears to be a form similar to the department’s applications, titled “BUILDER CONTINUING COMPETENCY.” The mailing contains inaccurate information and makes it look like the department is offering or endorsing the specific continuing competency classes listed, which it is not.
The fraudulent letters can look authentic. They may be addressed to the licensee; cite a Michigan statute or a federal statute; and may appear to be issued by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth, Bureau of Commercial Services, Licensing Division. If such notices are received, they are to be disregarded because they are neither issued by DELEG nor any governmental agency.
Any licensed builder or maintenance and alteration contractor who receives such a notice is advised to:
1. Keep the notice, mailing envelope, and return envelope.
2. Contact the U.S. Postal Inspections Service to report mail fraud at: 877-876-2455 or http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx
3. Contact the Michigan Office of the Attorney General at: http://www.michigan.gov/ag or P.O. Box 30212, Lansing MI 48909.

Legitimate notices and mailings to Michigan licensees are issued from DELEG’s Licensing Division and are mailed to the address on record.

Customers with questions about their license or continuing competency requirements are encouraged to use the department’s web site at www.michigan.gov/builders or call the Licensing Division at (517) 373-8376.

E-mail scams target AOL members

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

In recent days, AOL members and others have been getting e-mails asking for information to update their accounts. These are nothing more than bogus “phishing” efforts meant to extract personal or financial information from consumers. Just delete them.
There are two e-mails that surfaced this week, the subject line of one appears to be an alert asking the member to update account information. The other purports to be an alert about billing information.

Some Honda snowblowers recalled

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

American Honda has recalled more than 18,000 snowblowers because of a faulty O-ring that can cause fuel to leak, posing a fire hazard.
For details on the recall and models affected, click here.