Consumer Catch-up: $82M robocall fine, naming retailers during recalls, Fed hikes interest rates, drivers overestimate car safety

Thursday, September 27, 2018
Consumer Catch-up: $82M robocall fine, naming retailers during recalls
The FCC issued one of its biggest fines ever, $82 million for illegal robocalls. Plus, the FDA wants to start naming retailers impacted by food recalls.

FCC issues $82M robocall fine

The Federal Communications Commission issued one of its largest-ever fines, $82 million, against illegal robocalls.

The FCC says telemarketer Philip Roesel used his companies to spoof phone numbers and make more than 21 million robocalls to market health insurance.

By spoofing the fake phone numbers, the FCC says Roesel made it tough for consumers to file complaints, and for law enforcement to track and stop the calls.

You can find more information about spoofing, plus file a complaint with the FCC about calls you receive here.

FDA wants to name retailers impacted by recalls

The Food and Drug Administration wants to start naming retailers impacted by food recalls.

The idea is to give consumers actionable information to avoid potentially contaminated food.

Right now, supply chain information is confidential between the manufacturer and retailer. The FDA says generally, information given out by the maker of the recalled product is enough for consumers to take action.

Still, the FDA says there are some cases where more information is key, such as when the food has already been linked to foodborne illness. Giving out retail information can help consumers recognize and avoid the product more quickly.

In these cases, the FDA will now list retail information publicly.

Fed again raises interest rates

The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates a quarter point today, the third such increase this year.

The move reflects a strong U.S. economy. The Fed also indicated another increase is likely before the end of the year, plus three more raises coming in 2019.

Short-term interest rates are a benchmark for many consumer and business loans.

The rate increases to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent.

This is the eighth rate hike since late 2015.

Drivers overestimate car safety features

A new study from AAA says most drivers don't understand the safety features in their vehicles.

80 percent of people don't know how blind spot monitoring works.

40 percent of drivers don't understand the difference between forward collision warning and automatic braking. Forward collision warning does NOT stop your car.

The study also found 29 percent of people will participate in other activities while cruise control is engaged.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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