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Consumer Affairs

Scam alert: fake invoices can cheat you — and now real invoices can too

New invoice/bank scam hybrid snags victims in the U.S. and around the world

The United States Postal Service estimates that American businesses lose millions if not billions of dollars to invoice scams every year, though of course the scam's very nature makes it hard to accurately measure its total costs, because so many of its victims don't realize they're losing money.

No jail time for California cop who stole nude photos from arrestees' phones

The other cops involved aren't even facing charges

Here's another reason why you should always put a strong password on your smartphone and any other computer devices.

Revenge porn site banned by feds

Women were forced to pay hundreds of dollars to have their images taken down

The operator of an alleged “revenge porn” website has been banned from sharing nude videos or photographs of people without their consent and will have to destroy the intimate images and personal contact information he collected while operating the site.

What to do when your dog gets the flu

It's about the same as you'd do for a human

You aren't the only one who can get the flu. Your dog can get it too. It's known in veterinary circles as canine influenza, a respiratory infection caused by the H3N8 virus.

Whole Foods, Wegmans "store-baked" claims are stale, suit charges

Class action argues stores' claims don't rise to the challenge

Take the lawsuits filed by consumers who argue that Whole Foods and Wegmans aren't really selling freshly store-baked bread, cakes and so forth in their gargantuan supermarkets.

Data company counts 46 million vehicles with unrepaired recalls

It's a huge increase over last year's estimate

A year ago, a company selling automotive data to consumers reported there were more than 3 million cars on the road in 2013 with an open – or unrepaired – safety recall. This year, it counts more than 10 times that number.

An app to let you know if your college student is in class

Educators agree class attendance is essential to success

Success in college depends on many things but one thing is for sure -- you have to show up for class.

Call-blocking by consumers OK in FTC's view

Consumers being flooded with unwanted telemarketing calls, many from overseas

Is it -- or should it be -- legal for consumers to block unwanted telephone calls from telemarketers, solicitors, politicians and others who intrude brazenly on their privacy? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says yes, it is and should continue to be legal.

Law enforcement tracks all Americans, but doesn't want Americans tracking them

DEA expands its national surveillance while cops ask Google to disable cop-locator app

If you're an American citizen looking for a single sentence to summarize your relationship with the government, here's one possibility: “The government gets to spy on you and know your whereabouts at all times, whereas you aren't even allowed to know where to find the police officer nearest you.”

FTC urges caution as Internet of Things expands

Interconnected devices are fine but the humans need watching

The Internet of Things -- interconnected devices like appliances and security alarms -- are fine but it's important to protect them against errant humans, a report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions.

Google, Cablevision ready to wade into wireless wars

You thought Uber was disruptive? Wait til you see this

What was once called the cellphone business is about to face the kind of disruption that has left everything from newspaper barons to taxi drivers wondering where their next meal is coming from.

It's getting expensive to have a dog that's considered dangerous

Liability attached to a "dangerous" breed may be more than most consumers can afford

If you have a dog that’s generally considered dangerous, you'd better start cutting back on dog treats or maybe get a smaller house and a cheaper car, because you are going to have a hefty insurance premium -- if you can even find a policy.

1 in 5 Americans admit to financial infidelity

What the spouse doesn't know can hurt them

About 1 in 5 say they have spent $500 or more without telling their partner. Then there are the independents who make up 6% and maintain a hidden checking or savings account and use secret credit cards.

Problem: genuine AT&T texts look too much like phishing bait

Watch out, because the standard scam-detection rules don't apply here

AT&T customers beware: you're far more vulnerable to phishing scams than customers of other companies, thanks to AT&T's text protocols – or the lack thereof.

Small improvements can make a big difference in your home's value

Renters are once again looking to buy; is your home ready?

Perhaps it's time for an upgrade just to modernize your home a bit or to start prepping for a sale.