Bill Brooks

Rikki don’t trust that number

August 13, 2018 at 5:00 am

Throw away your caller ID.At least, quit relying on it for the truth about who is calling. For years, the add-on caller ID (identification) was a highly useful function of any telephone, landline or cellular. Unfortunately, it has actually ...

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Consumer advice: Beware charity auction items that have strings attached

August 09, 2018 at 5:00 am

People in our area are truly generous. A consumer called me with a sad story. It made me angry as I listened to him. It seems he went to a charity auction and bid on a particular item. Knowing this man, he probably overbid intentionally bec...

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They’ll go to great lengths to get inside your house

August 06, 2018 at 5:00 am

A couple attended an event where an exhibitor was conducting a contest to win an off-road vehicle made by one of the motorcycle manufacturers. The vehicles look like a lot of fun — zooming over sand dunes riding with your friends over hill ...

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Consumer advice: Take this tip to the bank

August 02, 2018 at 5:00 am

Just this week, I have received an unusually large number of reports of bank account hacking and fraud. In that most of our transactions are electronic, it often happens before you know it. Fake bank drafts, account info phishing and accoun...

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Pull the plug on power company scams

July 28, 2018 at 5:00 am

Here we go again. A very sharp businessman who owns a midsized, successful company in this area reported to me that he had just lost over a thousand dollars to a caller posing as an Avista employee. Here’s how it went down.He got a call las...

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CONSUMER ADVICE: Buy cheap meat but avoid the ’bot

July 26, 2018 at 5:00 am

In the past, a bunch of U.S.-produced meat was routinely shipped overseas to hungry markets. With the advent of current trade wars, that meat can only be sold to U.S. consumers. For example, China has slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. por...

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CONSUMER ADVICE: Take a tip from this smart grandma

July 23, 2018 at 5:00 am

I just got a call from a grandma in Post Falls. She wanted to tell me how she handled the “grandma call” — you know, the one where the caller pretends to be the consumer’s grandchild. This consumer had a unique way of shutting down the woul...

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Consumer Advice: Psst: That’s not Amazon with a $100 cash present

July 19, 2018 at 5:00 am

There’s an email going around the internet like a rash. In big splashy “Amazon” colors and copied fonts it announces that you have won a $100 gift certificate because you are a “good and faithful” customer. All you need to do is take a shor...

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CONSUMER ADVICE: Travelers, buckle up for ID changes

July 12, 2018 at 5:00 am

New TSA rules mean some travelers will need to change the form of ID they are using before they hop on a plane. I have always shown my driver’s license, but beginning Oct. 1, 2020, you’ll need a passport or a Global Entry card (https://bit....

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CONSUMER ADVICE: Don’t get stuck on auto-renewal merry-go-round

July 09, 2018 at 5:00 am

Since writing about the need for laws prohibiting automatically renewing contracts, especially for items, services and subscriptions online, many customers have called me and reported that, after checking, they found that they had unknowing...

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