Consumer Confidential

Consumer Confidential With David Lazarus
Whatever you do, don’t say yes when this chatbot asks, 'Can you hear me?'

It’s the most cunning robocall scam I’ve encountered — and the fact that I’ve fallen for it more than once tells you how successful it can be.

The phone rings. You pick it up and say “hello.” There’s a brief silence and then a woman’s voice says, “Oh, hi there!” She offers an embarrassed laugh. “I’m sorry, I was having a little trouble with my headset!”

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Consumers and pay-TV industry are far apart on a la carte channel pricing

Pay-TV companies lost nearly 800,000 video subscribers last year, almost twice as many as a year before — the latest evidence that a growing number of Americans are sick and tired of paying through the nose for hundreds of channels they never watch.

But if the future of TV is paying only for the channels you want, and I firmly believe that it is, the big question is how much each channel should cost.

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Bitter pill to swallow: Less FDA oversight of supplements seems likely

The Food and Drug Administration last week shut shut down several Colorado dietary-supplement companies that it said were selling “misbranded and adulterated” products that wrongly purported to treat “high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, depression and muscle pain.”

The agency said violations such as these “put consumers’ health in jeopardy.”

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On Obamacare, Paul Ryan has no idea what he's talking about

House Speaker Paul Ryan defended the Republican healthcare-reform plan by saying it’s not necessarily a bad thing that it will cover fewer people than Obamacare.

And by fewer, we’re talking about the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate Monday that 24 million people would lose health insurance over the next decade if the Republican bill becomes law.

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'Pension advance' company is unmasked — and it's no friend of California consumers

It was an unusual lawsuit. A mysterious business, identifying itself only as “John Doe Company” and “organized under the laws of the State of California,” sued the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January to keep its name and a pending investigation under wraps.

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GOP marks National Consumer Protection Week by voting to 'obliterate' class-action lawsuits

The Republican-controlled House voted late Thursday to approve the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act, which purports to protect consumers but does the opposite by making it harder for people to join class-action lawsuits.

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