Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


Coinbase Overcharging Users and Emptying Bank Accounts

Keep an eye on your bank account! It's good advice at all times, but for cryptocurrency enthusiasts it's especially true right at the moment. Customers of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, are reporting that the company is overcharging, double-charging, and in some cases emptying their bank accounts with unauthorized transactions.

Panera Bread Recalls Cream Cheese Nationwide for Listeria

Bagel Breakfasters beware. The bakery-cafe chain Panera Bread is voluntarily recalling a chunk of its cream cheese products sold nationwide, after a sample tested positive for listeria. The voluntary recall is preventive, and (to date) there have been no reports of illness linked to the company's creamy spreads.

After the housing bubble burst way back in 2008, big banks had quite a few foreclosures on their hands. Only they didn't do a great job of managing those foreclosures. In 2011, the Federal Reserve found banks like Ally Financial, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and SunTrust botched thousands of foreclosures and ordered them to tidy up their mortgage servicing.

And now, finally, in 2018, the Fed has finalized its enforcement action against the remaining banks, fining five of them a total of $35.1 million.

Researchers at Consumer Reports think they've discovered the source of a deadly E. coli outbreak in the U.S. and Canada last week: romaine lettuce. The outbreak began in November 2017 and has sickened dozens, hospitalized five, and killed at least two people.

While the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention was careful not to link the outbreak to a specific source before further inquiry, the Public Health Agency of Canada was confident in identifying romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak. So why are people getting sick, what should they do, and can you file a wrongful death lawsuit for E. coli poisoning?

Thousands of products -- from ice cream to car steering wheels -- get recalled every year. And the FDA has a classification for those recalls, based on the injury risk posed by a defective product. Class I recalls are reserved for the most dangerous of defective products: "a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death."

That's the type of recall the FDA issued for a heart device made by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, claiming to a faulty valve can allow excess blood to leak into the heart or cause embolisms.

Between the gifts you're buying online this holiday season and the ones you might be expecting or hoping to get from friends and loved ones, you're probably expecting an email confirmation or two about those packages being delivered. And you would be understandably upset if you saw an email in your inbox that read "FedEx: Delivery Problems Notification."

If you got one of these emails, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, that email is fake. The bad news is, it could infect your computer with malware if you're not careful.

More than ever, people are turning to the internet to find their lawyer. And, sadly, there are more online scams than ever. So it's probably natural that scammers would start impersonating lawyers online.

For years, the Department of Justice has been warning about fraudsters using real attorney names and professional information to set up fake law firm websites to solicit legal work and scam clients out of their money. So both consumers and lawyers need to be aware of the fake lawyer website scam.

We all want to reward our very good dogs. We just don't want choking, vomiting, or diarrhea to be part of that reward. And if you're giving your good dog a "bone treat," according to the FDA, that's exactly what they might get.

"Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet," says FDA veterinarian Carmela Stamper. So read this before filling your dog's stocking full of Christmas treats.

Getting something in the mail is awesome. Getting something free in the mail is even better. But getting dozens of packages containing cheap hair ties from China? Even free has its limits.

The more interesting question is why a company, or anyone for that matter, would send you the same thing for free, over and over again? It's called "brushing," and it's illegal, even in China.

If you google 'AARP elder abuse,' your first 30 or so results are pages of the American Association of Retired Persons' efforts to combat the emotional and financial abuse of elderly people. But the same non-profit that touts its efforts to protect elders is now being sued for defrauding them.

A new class action lawsuit filed in California accuses AARP of elder financial abuse, claiming it has been taking kickbacks from UnitedHealth Group for selling AARP-branded health insurance plans, overcharging its members in the process.