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Consumer Protection

As Omicron Surges, So Do Testing Scams

By Richard Dahl

Omicron's rapid spread means that those who suspect they've been infected or exposed may not be able to be tested right away due to high demand. So they often scour the internet in hopes of finding a provider that can do it quickly. Enter the latest wave of COVID-19 scammers.

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FTC Promises Crackdown on 'Dark Patterns'

By Richard Dahl

On Oct. 28, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it is increasing enforcement to protect the public from the use of "dark patterns" by companies on the internet. So, what are dark patterns? If you're not familiar with the term, there's a good chance that you're familiar with their effects.

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DOJ Continues Crackdown on Chicken Price Fixers

By Richard Dahl

American diners love their chicken. Consumption of chicken has surpassed that of red meat and pork and for good reason: Chicken is healthier and generally cheaper. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, however, some diners have been paying too much for their chicken. In 2019, DOJ began uncovering evidence of a conspiracy to fix prices on broiler chickens, and in June and October last year, the agency filed charges against several chicken-industry executives.

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New Rules May Make Flying Less Stressful

By Richard Dahl

If you ask someone during these pandemic days if they miss air travel, you're likely to get a mixed response. It will probably be something along the lines of: “I miss travel. But I don't miss the airlines." Or: “I like to see other parts of the world. But I don't like having to be treated like an infant in order to get there." We will welcome the return of normal life someday, of course.

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Clearing Snow from Roofs: Avoid Price Gouging

By Andrew Leonatti

If you live in an area of the United States where winter brings heaping mounds of snow, you know that it is essential to clear the white stuff from your roof before spring rains arrive. Clogged gutters, or even water backing up into your house, are not fun to deal with. But for many people, climbing onto the roof to shovel snow and break up ice dams or buying a roof rake to remove the snow from the ground are not an option.

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Can Utility Companies Shut Off Your Heat if You Don't Pay Your Bills?

By Richard Dahl

As winter tightens its icy grip, the prospect of having your heat turned off can be frightening. But if you can't pay your heat or electric bills, at some point that's precisely what utilities can do. Fortunately for those most in need, however, most states have laws that prohibit these companies from pulling the plug. But these are not blanket protections. Typically, states limit this relief to the elderly, the disabled, and low-income people.

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