SEARCH

Tuesday
Jan042011

BBB Lists Top 10 Scams of 2010

Photo Courtesy - BBB.org(ARLINGTON, Va.) – The unemployed and those in other financial straits were among the most targeted by scams and ripoffs in 2010, according to the Better Business Bureau.

“With the economy still on the mend, scammers had a field day targeting struggling families who were looking for work and trying to make ends meet,” said Stephen A. Cox, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “While some of the most popular scams are perennial problems that have always plagued consumers, some new additions to the list are signs of our tough economic times.”

The BBB on Tuesday released a list of the year’s top 10 biggest scams and schemes as carried out by everyone from hackers to crooked businesses.

Among the most widespread scams were those looking to get personal information from job-seekers and debt relief companies who left customers out to dry.

Other scams that made the list were identity theft, lottery scams and work-from-home schemes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan042011

December Best Month for GM in 2010

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DETROIT) – December was the best month of 2010 for General Motors as the automaker reported a 16-percent increase in total sales from December 2009.

The company sold 223,932 vehicles in December, driven by a 27-percent increase in retail sales.

GM also reported a yearly sales increase of 21 percent from 2009 to 2010, thanks to a 50-percent increase in crossover sales.

“Our sales this year reflect the impact of GM’s new business model,” said Don Johnson, vice president of U.S. sales operations for GM. “The consistency of results that we achieved demonstrates the focus on our brands, dealers and customers, and how we compete aggressively for every sale, every day.”

Despite losing four of eight brands from 2009 to 2010, GM managed to sell 118,435 more vehicles.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan042011

Toyota Reports Drop in December Sales

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TORRANCE, Calif.) – Toyota Motor Company has reported a drop in December 2010 sales compared to December 2009, although yearly figures remained constant.

Toyota reported the sale of 177,488 units in December, a daily selling rate drop of two percent from the same period in 2009. Sales in the Toyota division were down 2.4 percent in December, while sales in the Lexus division remained consistent with December 2009 figures. 

Despite stagnant figures, Toyota celebrated several automotive achievements in 2010.

“Thanks to our customers’ enduring confidence in the quality and reliability of our vehicles, Toyota remained the best-selling retail brand for the third consecutive year, Camry was again the best-selling car in America for the ninth straight year and Lexus retained its place as the best-selling luxury brand for the eleventh year in a row,” said Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota. “We are truly grateful for the strong loyalty our customers showed the Toyota brand in 2010, and we look forward to a successful year in 2011.”

Overall in 2010, the company reported annual sales of 1,763,595 vehicles, which remained relatively unchanged from 2009.
 
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan042011

Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot Hits $355M

Photo Courtesy - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Have multimillion-dollar dreams? You have another opportunity to make your dreams a reality in the Mega Millions jackpot Tuesday night. Friday night's drawing failed to produce a winner for the multi-state lottery's top prize, which was estimated to be $290 million.

The jackpot has now grown to $355 million after 15 consecutive drawings that started Nov. 12.

Mega Millions jackpots begin with $12 million and roll over to the next drawing until there is a winner. A winner of the jackpot may receive the prize in a cash option of about $208.3 million. At least 25 percent of a lottery windfall goes to the federal government and state taxes vary by location.

Other smaller monetary prizes can range from $2 to $250,000, depending on how many numbers are matched.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won was $390 million in March 2007, according to the Mega Millions website.

The odds of winning Mega Millions' top prize are about 1 in 176 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan042011

Products Are Shrinking, Prices Aren't, Finds 'Consumer Reports'

Photo Courtesy - Tim Boyle/Getty Images(YONKERS, N.Y.) -- A growing number of products, from orange juice to toilet paper, are shrinking in size yet being kept at the same price, according to the latest investigation by Consumer Reports.

The report, featured in the February issue of Consumer Reports magazine, finds that big company names like Tropicana, Häagen-Dazs and Kraft are making subtle changes in how they package their products, reducing their size by up to 20 percent.  Manufacturers cite rising expenses in ingredients, raw materials and energy as the reasons for their downsizing.

Although the products are smaller, companies have not changed their prices for fear of losing consumers to higher prices.

Here are some of the downsized products Consumer Reports found in their investigation:

-- Cartons of Tropicana orange juice shrank 7.8 percent in size from 64 ounces to 59 ounces.

-- Bottles of Ivory dish detergent were reduced to 24 ounces from 30 ounces, a 20 percent difference.

-- Packages of Kraft American cheese now contain 22 slices instead of 24, a reduction of 8.3 percent.

-- Tubs of Häagen-Dazs ice cream were downsized 12.5 percent, from 16 ounces to 14.

-- Packages of Scott toilet tissue paper rolls now total 104.8 square feet, a difference of 9 percent from its previous sum of 115.2 square feet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan042011

Toyota Hit With Lawsuits over Sudden Acceleration Issue

Photo Courtesy - TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(TORRANCE, Calif.) -- Seven insurance companies have sued Toyota over crashes they blame on sudden acceleration.

The insurers are reportedly seeking damages of more than $230,000 from 14 crashes across the country. According to the Los Angeles Times, the lawsuits say certain Toyota cars and trucks have a defect that causes sudden uncontrolled accelerations of speeds up to 100 miles per hour.

Toyota says the lawsuits are without merit. The company is also fighting claims made by the cars’ owners.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan032011

MySpace Could Lay Off Half of Staff in January

Photo Courtesy - MySpace dot com(LOS ANGELES) -- The News Corp.-owned social networking site MySpace is reportedly preparing for massive layoffs to take place as early as this month.  A source close to the situation has confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the cuts could equal to up to 50 percent of its roughly 1,100 employees.  The reports of such massive layoffs has caused speculation the site may be preparing for a potential sale.

The site recently underwent a reconditioning revealed in October in an effort to turn around the ailing network's losses.  As part of the site's makeover, MySpace repositioned itself as a "social entertainment" site for music, entertainment and games. Time has been running out since News Corp.'s Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said during a conference call that MySpace's losses weren't "acceptable or sustainable" and called for immediate attention to the matter.

MySpace's monthly visitors dropped to 54 million in November -- down 3.7 million from October, according to the Los Angeles Times.  Advertising revenue has also fallen 26 percent from a year ago.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan032011

Report: Facebook Now Worth $50 Billion after Receiving Investments

Photo Courtesy - Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Facebook's value is now up to $50 billion after receiving two investments worth a combined total of $500 million, The New York Times reported Sunday night.

The social networking site received $450 million from global investment banking and securities firm, Goldman Sachs, and another $50 million from Russian investment firm, Digital Sky Technologies, the Times reported, citing people involved in the deal.

The investments put Facebook's worth at a higher value than Time Warner, Yahoo! and eBay.  They also could push the company towards going public.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan032011

Reports Show Manufacturing, Construction Growth

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Reports on U.S. manufacturing and construction released Monday appear to show more economic growth is on the way.

The Commerce Department says construction spending rose for the third straight month. The November number went up .4 percent following stronger gains in the previous two months.

The people who do the buying for American businesses say manufacturing continued to grow last month. The Institute for Supply Management survey rose slightly compared with November. New orders rose sharply.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan032011

Vizio to Introduce Mobile Devices

Photo Courtesy - WireImage/Getty Images(IRVINE, Calif.) -- Vizio is preparing to enter the mobile device market with a tablet and a cell phone.

The company, which manufactures flatscreen televisions, says both devices will have front-facing cameras, for video conferencing.

Vizio says its goal is to introduce affordable products with innovative features.

The devices are expected out later this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio