Some Spam Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

July 14, 2008

Spam Hazardous to your HealthLately the spam for online prescriptions has been on the rise. Spam is always irritating, but this spam can actually be deadly. With the economy in a tailspin consumers may be tempted to use online pharmacies to save a few dollars. But beware — not all online pharmacies are legit.

Take for example the death of Marcia Bergeron of British Columbia. An autopsy revealed that at the time of her death she had in her body a sedative, an antidepressant, a muscle relaxant, high levels of aluminum, phosphorous, titanium, tin, arsenic and other heavy metals. An investigation of her computer revealed that she had been shopping online for medication and ended up with counterfeit drugs.

In some cases the pills ordered online contain sugar, cement or other placebos. On occasion the correct drug is used but not the correct dosage. Some online medicines have been found to actually contain dangerous chemicals such as the ones that Marcia Bergeron ingested.

The problem has become so prevalent that last year the FDA issued a warning about purchasing medicine online.

To be sure there are many safe, reputable, and cost saving online pharmacies. The challenge is separating safe Web sites from unsafe Web sites. To protect yourself follow these 4 Don’ts:

  1. Don’t buy from sites that sell prescription drugs without a prescription.
  2. Don’t buy from sites that offer to prescribe a medication for the first time without an exam by your doctor.
  3. Don’t buy from a site that does not have a licensed pharmacist to answer your questions.
  4. Don’t give any personal information, unless you are sure the Web site will keep your information private.

Luckily there is a very quick and easy way to insure the website is safe. You can be confident that an online pharmacy is safe if it is VIPPS® approved by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Legitimate pharmacies that carry the VIPPS® seal are listed at www.vipps.info .

Finally, if in doubt, always ask your doctor or local pharmacist.

John Newcomer

FSU Profits Off of Student Credit Card Debt

July 10, 2008

FSU Credit Card Bank of AmericaSecret Terms in FSU Contract with Credit Card Giant 

by Terry Smiljanich and Jim Ross

At the same time Florida State University is warning students in a slick video to avoid the “credit card monster,” the university is funneling their names and addresses to credit card giant Bank of America. The bank then uses that information to market credit cards to those very same students, as part of an “exclusive” deal allowing the bank to use FSU’s official colors and symbols. 

Consumer Warning Network has obtained a copy of the contract between the Seminole Boosters, FSU’s athletic fundraising arm, and Bank of America. The deal, which FSU endorsed in a side letter, was supposed to remain confidential.

Read more

Suit reinstated against Ford: Troubled engine used in later model

July 10, 2008

By Brett Barrouquere
Associated Press

— A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit alleging that Ford used an earlier model engine known to have problems in its 2004 F-250 Series Super Duty trucks.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled yesterday that Kenneth E. Corder Sr. of Louisville could pursue the suit against Ford. The court split 2-1 in favor of Corder, finding that under the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act, Corder suffered an “ascertainable loss of money or property.”

“The engine in the 2003 F-250 truck was notorious for its deficiencies which were widely publicized, including ‘leaky fuel injectors, oil leaks, broken turbochargers, wiring harness troubles, faulty sensors, defective exhaust gas recirculation valves and bad computers,’ ” Judge William Schwarzer wrote for the panel.

Judge David McKeague said the two-judge majority misinterpreted Kentucky’s law as it applied to Corder’s case.

“Again, I believe the majority takes improper liberties with Kentucky law,” McKeague wrote.

Marcey Evans, a Ford spokeswoman in Detroit, said the company was disappointed.

“The company agrees with Judge McKeague that it is not misleading or deceptive not to inform car purchasers about the manufacturing history of vehicle components, and that the plaintiff in this case, who is satisfied with his properly performing vehicle, has suffered no loss. We believe that a jury is likely to reach these same conclusions as well,” Evans said.

Corder’s attorney, Robert Klein of Louisville, praised the ruling.

“I think the court made a very wise decision,” Klein said.

Corder sued the automaker in 2005, alleging Ford used a 2003 model engine in the 2004 F-250 Series Super Duty truck, but didn’t disclose to buyers that the earlier model engine was in the vehicle. Corder claims the 2003 engines were known to be faulty and he waited a year to buy the vehicle to avoid the 2003 model.

Klein said about 50,000 people bought the 2004 trucks with the older engines, making the case eligible to become a class-action lawsuit. A motion to certify it as a class-action was pending at the time the suit was dismissed. Klein said that motion will become active again.

Ford claimed there were no differences in the engine models and that different engines were produced for each new model truck year.

Corder produced enough evidence to show that different engines were installed in the 2004 trucks, Schwarzer wrote. Schwarzer, joined by Karen Nelson Moore, ruled that Corder presented enough evidence to show that a reasonable consumer would expect the newer engine in the 2004 truck and that Ford provided the older model.

The case returns to U.S. District Court in Louisville.

Mortgage Servicers’ Secret

July 2, 2008

The secret mortgage servicers don’t want you to know is they can make MORE money off of homeowners when they keep your loan in default. A former employee of loan servicer EMC tells the inside story on why so many people can’t get their loan out of default.

FL Attorney General Sues Countrywide

July 2, 2008

The Florida Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Countrywide Financial for “deceptive and unfair trade practices.” The suit claims Countrywide put borrowers into mortgages they couldn’t afford or loans with rates and penalties that were misleading. Watch ABC Action News story of a borrower who was mislead. Read more

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