Protect yourself from W-2 phishing scams

by Terry Sheridan, Accounting Web

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The crooks use the information to file bogus tax returns — or sell it on the so-called Dark Net. In some cases, the fraudsters asked for a wire transfer after receiving the employees’ information. Read More ›

Senator Bill Dodd introduces garage-door safety bill

by Davis Enterprise, Davis Enterprise

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In the aftermath of the October wildfires that swept across the North Bay, several victims were found dead where their garages once stood. While garage door motors can be disconnected to open the doors manually, many people, especially seniors or those with heavy wooden doors, find it impossible to do so. Read More ›

Consumer Federation of California endorses Dave Jones for Attorney General

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“Dave Jones is an effective consumer champion. As Insurance Commissioner he has saved consumers billions of dollars by reining in excessive insurance rate hikes, and has cracked down on insurers who engage in fraud or unfair practices,” stated Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California. Read More ›

Paint companies could hand taxpayers the bill for hazardous lead paint cleanup under proposed California ballot measure

by Liam Dillon, Los Angeles Times

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The measure would place a $2-billion bond on the November ballot to fund the remediation of lead paint, mold, asbestos and other environmental dangers in homes, schools and senior citizen facilities. The initiative also would reverse a November state appeals court decision requiring three paint companies to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars for lead paint abatement. It also aims to block future lawsuits against the paint companies for similar claims. Read More ›

The new year ushers in new laws affecting consumers

by David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times

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Legal weed, salary history, parental leave, minimum wages. Hundreds of new California laws took effect Monday with the beginning of the new year. For consumers, some are real standouts. Read More ›

Some retailers misled shoppers on Black Friday savings

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For both Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, retailers know that shoppers love a bargain, so the bigger the savings they can claim, the more sales they will likely ring up. Telling shoppers they can save hundreds of dollars by buying now is potent advertising. Read More ›

Strangers can talk to your child through “connected” toys, investigation finds

by Rebecca Smithers, The Guardian

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A consumer group is urging major retailers to withdraw a number of “connected” toys likely to be popular at Christmas, after finding security failures that it warns could put children’s safety at risk. With each of these toys, the Bluetooth connection had not been secured, meaning the researcher did not need a password, pin or any other authentication to gain access. Little technical know-how was needed to hack into the toys to start sharing messages with a child. Read More ›

FCC Unveils Plan to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules

by Alina Selyukh, KQED

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The Federal Communications Commission will vote Dec. 14 on a plan to undo the landmark 2015 rules that had placed Internet service providers under the strictest-ever regulatory oversight. The vote is expected to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which prevent broadband companies from slowing down or blocking any sites or apps, or otherwise deciding what content gets to users faster. Read More ›

CFC supports AB 713

AB 713 (Chu) ensures that residents of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) have the ability to prompt a fair and adequate review of an involuntary transfer of care. Under current law, vital factors such as the resident’s mental or physical health do not have to be considered, rending the right to dispute virtually meaningless. Read More ›

Republicans could fund tax cuts by raiding workers’ 401K savings

by Kate Cox, The Consumerist

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Republicans in Congress want to pass a tax cut. That’s kind of their thing. But taxes fund things; the government uses the money. But slashing the maximum limit for 401(k) contributions is unlikely to be warmly greeted by pretty much anyone. Read More ›

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