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Civil Rights and Consumer Protection Archives

Bank accused of fraudulently opening customer accounts

Many of our readers remember the scandal involving Wells Fargo back in 2016. Employees were opening millions of fake accounts for real customers in an effort to meet sales goals, which are typically tied to compensation. That was just one of the allegations of fraud against the bank.

Illinois college student sues for excessive force, false arrest

It was just over a year ago when the swim team from East Illinois University (EIU) was returning to the Charleston campus after a championship tournament in South Dakota. The bus the team was riding on pulled off Interstate 80 near an East Moline rest stop.

How to avoid unscrupulous tax preparers

The last couple of years have brought a lot of tax changes thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The TCJA, signed in to law at the end of 2017, prompted a lot of people to seek the help of a professional in preparing their taxes for the first time. When life changes mean tax changes, it can also be reassuring to have professional help beyond a tax preparation software program.

Why is Byron Allen going before the Supreme Court?

If you only know Byron Allen as a television (TV) personality from your youth, you may be surprised to find out that he's become a media mogul. His company Entertainment Studios, which he started 25 years ago, is involved in movies, TV and digital media.

Actress's sentencing reignites issues of race, wealth

When actress Felicity Huffman received a two-week federal prison sentence this month for her role in the college admissions scandal, many people expressed outrage. She was also fined $30,000 and has to do 250 hours of community service. However, Huffman's 14-day sentence reignited the issue of sentencing inequalities between wealthy, mostly white defendants and poorer ones -- particularly people of color.

80 people indicted by feds for romance scams, other fraud

Earlier this year, we discussed "romance scams" and how older people, in particular, are victimized by online scammers claiming to be interested in pursuing a relationship. They convince their victims to send them money to help them travel to see them or for some other bogus reason. Last year, as we noted, romance scams cost Americans a combined $143 million.

Missouri officials warn of phony DNA tests

There have been significant advancements in genetic testing in recent years. With a simple swab of the cheek, people can learn whether they have genetic markers that could make them prone to developing serious and potentially fatal diseases, such as certain types of cancer.

Lobbyists succeed in weakening smart speaker privacy bill

While many of us have become increasingly dependent on our digital smart speaker devices like Amazon's Echo and Google Assistant to play our favorite music, create our shopping lists and basically be at our beck and call, there have been questions about just how much these devices actually "hear" and who may be listening.

Are you the victim of a romance scam? You're not alone

There are a seemingly endless number of online dating sites to help people find the loves of their lives -- or just someone with whom to connect. Unfortunately, however, the people you meet online aren't always what they seem. So-called "romance scams" are more prevalent than any other kind of consumer fraud by a wide margin -- and they're becoming more common.

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