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December 2014

New holiday gadgets? Here's how to save money on your electric bill

If you received one one of latest electronic gadgets this holiday season, you may want to take steps to reduce the electricity is uses. The Natural Resources Defense Council offers these simple changes to help you trim your energy costs: Not only will you save money on your utility bill,... Read more →


Baby boomer bloggers focus on the holidays

If a blog is a present, then here is what's under the Baby Boomer Christmas tree this year, says Tom Sightings of Sightings Over Sixty, the host for this week's Best of Boomer Blogs #385. Topics include: A reminder that the holiday season for catching up with friends and family,... Read more →


No recall yet in caramel apple listeriosis outbreak, but consumers advised not to eat commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples

Five people have died from an outbreak of listeriosis. An initial investigation indicates that commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples are the likely source, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-eight people in 10 states have been reported as being infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes, according... Read more →


Watch out for staged auto accidents this holiday season

Consumers need to be aware that con artists are staging automobile accidents, which are being created in order to defraud auto insurance companies. Staged accident claims increased 46 percent from 2007 through 2009, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The top five states that generated the most staged accident... Read more →


10 ways holiday shopping is different in 2014

Hanukkah is underway and Christmas is coming up in a few days. Has holiday shopping been different for you this year? DealNews says there are some significant differences between this holiday shopping season and last year's. Here’s its list: 1. More consumers shopping online. The average shopper will do 44... Read more →


Latest gift card trick involves Amazon gift cards

By Nicole Vincent Fleming, Consumer Education Specialist, Federal Trade Commission Thinking about giving a fancy new gadget as a holiday gift? Or maybe there’s something on your wish list that Santa forgot to bring? If so, you might be tempted by an ad for high-tech at a low price. But,... Read more →


Gift cards: Watch out for problems during the holidays

Gift cards make great last-minute gifts for holiday shoppers. They’re practical, inexpensive, and convenient. Sales of gift cards have risen to $124 billion this year – a 55 percent increase over six years, according to a report by CEB TowerGroup. While gift card giving increases, Better Business Bureau serving Alaska,... Read more →


Tips for buying jewelry for the holidays

By Carol Kando-Pineda, Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer and Business Education As the old song goes, “Silver and gold, silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold.” That rings especially true now that we’re smack in the middle of the gift-giving season. If you’re looking for that special little... Read more →


Toxic chemicals found in many seasonal holiday products, study shows

Top retailers of holiday decorations continue to sell seasonal items that contain hazardous chemicals, according to a study. Researchers found that two thirds of these products have one or more hazardous chemicals that have been linked to serious health threats. The study is an update of 2012 and 2013 research... Read more →