Areas & Topics

Civil Rights and Consumer Protection Archives

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.

What is a phishing scam?

Consumers face a battery of different scams and unethical behaviors. Some have been around for decades or even centuries. Others have sprung up with the growth of the internet. Either way, it is important for consumers to know what these scams look like and what to watch out for.

Is that ad really a bait and switch?

A bait and switch is essentially when a company advertises one product to get you into the store but then tries to sell you another product at a higher price. However, simply trying to convince you to buy something that costs more money is not a bait and switch. You must have no other choice.

How do you know if your car is a lemon?

Cars break down. It's just an unfortunate reality. However, that does not mean you simply have to accept that this product you purchased -- the most expensive thing many people will ever buy outright -- is going to fail. If it is bad enough, you may have a lemon.

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