Top 10 Consumer Protection Legal Stories of 2014
As you probably know, 2014 was a big year for consumer protection legal stories.
From wide-reaching recalls to an uptick in the number of online scams being perpetrated by internet criminals, there were a number of news stories that hit home for consumers concerned with protecting their finances, privacy, and safety. And FindLaw's Common Law covered it all.
What were this year's most popular Common Law blog posts? Here are the Top 10:
- 'Cold Water Challenge' Warning: Injuries, 1 Death Reported -- Before the "Ice Bucket Challenge," there was the "Cold Water Challenge," in which teens recorded themselves jumping into frigid bodies of water. One Minnesota teen died while taking part in the challenge after jumping into an ice-cold lake.
- 'Court Case' Email Scam: Don't Click on Attachments -- Consumers nationwide were warned about a scam in which emails that appeared to be from court clerks or law firms actually contained malware or were attempts to scam consumers into paying nonexistent fines.
- Craigslist Scam Alert: 5 Signs a Con Artist Is Replying to Your Ad -- There are a few tell-tale signs that the person answering your ad on Craigslist may be up to no good.
- 'Gas Station Scam' Fueled by Fear of Prosecution -- Another scam reported this year involved scammers posing as gas station owners. The scammers spin a tale involving a declined credit card on the consumers' last visit to a local gas station and threaten legal action if the consumer fails to provide his or her credit card info.
- Was Your Car Recalled? Look Up Your VIN to Find Out -- NHTSA rolled out a new online database this year, allowing consumers to search by VIN to see if their vehicle is in need of any recall repairs.
- 5 Things You Shouldn't Keep in Your Car -- Although vehicle break-ins are never a good thing, consumers can make them slightly less painful by keeping essential or valuable items out of their cars.
- 'One Ring' Cell Phone Scam Rings Up Unwanted Charges, BBB Warns -- The BBB issued an alert regarding the so-called "One Ring" scam, in which automated calls are made to random cellphone numbers, ringing once before disconnecting. Consumers who called back incurred huge cellphone charges or got conned into a telemarketing scheme.
- Black Pepper, Chia and Flax Powders Recalled Over Salmonella Fears -- Among the foods recalled in 2014 were Costco's Kirkland brand black pepper and Organic Matters' sprouted chia and flax seed powder.
- Apple Security Flaw: Update Software to Thwart Wi-Fi Hackers -- Apple was forced to release a security update after a bug was discovered in the company's software. It potentially gave hackers the ability to trick Apple devices into thinking they were connected to a secure connection.
Learn more about protecting yourself from online scams, defective products, and retail fraud at FindLaw's section on Consumer Protection.