April 22, 2012 |
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. 'Free' gas - A federal judge has ordered a company to stop a marketing scheme in which consumers were promised "free gas for life" if they purchased a book online, the Federal Trade Commission said. Consumers who attempted to buy the book ended up being charged a monthly fee for an online magazine and did not receive the promised free gasoline, the FTC said. Under the court order, the Green Millionaire website can no longer offer "free" products and must clearly disclose how much consumers will be charged for its products.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2011 |
You can probably hear it when I walk down the hallway: the sound of gold dollar coins jingling in my pocket. I use them everywhere: the dry cleaner, the store, my favorite diner. No, they are not a heavy burden, I tell skeptics. When brand-new, they're like shimmering drops of sunshine. It's practical. During a dark time in my life, I used my credit card for almost every purchase. But at the end of each month, I was confronted by bills that pained me. What was that $4.06 purchase from a vendor called "San Francisco"?
November 3, 2011 |
Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Goldline International Inc., a Santa Monica company that is one of the nation's largest gold dealers, for allegedly tricking customers into buying gold coins at inflated prices. The Santa Monica city attorney's office accused Goldline of running a "bait and switch" operation in which customers seeking to invest in gold bullion were instead sold gold coins that were marked up more than 50%. The company, which used radio talk show host Glenn Beck as a pitchman, has seen sales soar in recent years along with the price of gold.
November 21, 2009 |
Gold remains in a powerful bull market as measured by prices in the futures market, where speculators can run rampant. But third-quarter data from the World Gold Council show that the surge in the metal's price to record highs ($1,146.40 an ounce as of Friday) hasn't been accompanied by record purchases of the real thing. The recent peak in buying of physical gold, in fact, was in the third quarter of 2008 -- before the financial system meltdown accelerated. The council's report put total global purchases of gold in the quarter that ended Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2009 |
The Brasher Doubloon is steeped in historic reverence and mystique. It dates to Colonial America and the dawning of the new federal government, when Spanish gold doubloons circulated alongside other foreign gold and silver as part of New World commerce. The coin takes its name from Ephraim Brasher, a respected New York City gold and silversmith who lived next door to George Washington. In 1787, Brasher began making gold coins, presumably to be used as currency for the soon-to-be-formed republic.
May 17, 2009 |
It's not all doom and gloom in the U.S. economy. Some products are bucking the recession and flying off store shelves. Sales of chocolate and running shoes are up. Wine drinkers haven't stopped sipping; they just seem to be choosing cheaper vintages. Gold coins are selling like hot cakes. So are gardening seeds. Tanning products are piling up in shopping carts; maybe more people are finding color in a bottle than from sun-worshiping on a faraway beach. Strong sales of Spam, Dinty Moore stew and chili helped Hormel Foods Corp.