Bill Brooks

Consumer advice: Beware of hinky credit card settings and check scams

September 10, 2018 at 5:00 am

ABU & COF COULD COST YOU: A consumer called me recently with a new wrinkle that every credit or debit card user needs to be aware of. The story is this: The consumer spotted a couple of charges on his credit card that were fraudulent. H...

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Consumer advice: Small businesses make big targets

September 06, 2018 at 5:00 am

A local business got a decent-sized order for its product from a company in a Middle Eastern country. The name of the country is not important. What IS important is that orders from any foreign country, particularly if your firm hasn’t done...

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As scams go, this is one of the breast

September 03, 2018 at 5:00 am

Katherine called me the other day from an outfit named the American Breast Cancer Support Association. She was soliciting donations. They were calling using a 208 area code. When I asked her where she was really calling from, she admitted s...

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Consumer advice: Getting sick over prescription recalls

August 30, 2018 at 5:00 am

Some “lots” of a commonly prescribed medicine, effective in treating high blood pressure, are being recalled by the FDA. This recall is for the drug Hydrochorothiazide, in 12.5 mg tablets. The problem is, a small number of “lots” have been ...

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If it walks like a scam and talks like a scam ...

August 27, 2018 at 5:00 am

There are many ways you can tell communication is a scam. Here are a few of them, in no particular order: 1. If the offer sounds too good to be true. Some consumer advocates say “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” I replace ...

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Consumer advice: Area under scam assault with false arrest calls

August 23, 2018 at 5:00 am

I’ve had more than 40 calls this week from consumers who have received calls — some robo calls and some in person — from individuals claiming to be from various agencies of the federal government. These people are attempting to scare the da...

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Left out in the cold (water)

August 20, 2018 at 5:00 am

About three years ago, a consumer, not a member of Kootenai County Electric co-op, bought a super duper brand new water heater from Kootenai Electric Cooperative. Because he was not a member (he lives in the Silver Valley), he had to pay mo...

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Left out in the cold (water)

August 20, 2018 at 5:00 am

About three years ago, a consumer, not a member of Kootenai County Electric co-op, bought a super duper brand new water heater from Kootenai Electric Cooperative. Because he was not a member (he lives in the Silver Valley), he had to pay mo...

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Consumer advice: Holy sheet! Don’t pay fees up front

August 16, 2018 at 5:00 am

Upfront fees? Never! That’s my rule. One of the most accurate indicators of a fraudulent or at least questionable offer is when all fees or service charges are required to be paid upfront. In almost two full years of listening to customers’...

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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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