8.26.19 Labor Day gas prices; Beware this romance email scam; Amazon 3rd party sellers warning

Oil and in turn gas prices which were expected to be headed higher now, are in fact  lower. AAA reports as we move into the Labor Day holiday period, gas prices will average .30 cents less per gallon than one year ago. Traffic will be the problem this Labor Day holiday.  Also, electric vehicle purchases are a small part of the market but enough people are buying to affect the demand equation for gasoline, and that is helping to moderate prices. There will still be ups and downs based on temporary factors, but the trends for low gas prices are positive.

A 3 year investigation resulted in a federal bust. Be on your guard for the techniques these scammers used – this won’t be the last criminal ring employing them. The number one scheme here: online romance scams – an active fraud method for at least 15 years. This time, the fraudsters were pretending to be U.S. military personnel.  No matter how much you may have fallen for someone online, don’t believe the story until you’re face-to-face and know who you’re dealing with. Criminals exploit the military or anything else to exploit your affection as a gateway to your wallet.

Watch the video

A WSJ investigation has found unsafe and counterfeit sales on Amazon.  Their intense digging uncovered safety issues. Most Amazon sellers are third party, much like online marketplace eBay. Amazon muddies the waters by including many 3rd party items as Amazon Choice or Prime. Some kids’ toys contained led, and counterfeits were found. There’s hazard for adults as well such as counterfeit motorcycle helmets. Amazon is selling items that have been banned, including mats that are a suffocation danger to children. 4 out of 10 Amazon Choice kids’ items failed federal safety standards. Amazon sells 3 different ways: Listing for a third party, fulfilling for a third party and direct selling by Amazon themselves which they control. It’s hard to tell.  Amazon has a broken system right now. Don’t allow yourself to be harmed. Follow the steps to identify the actual seller. Important: Amazon does NOT stand behind anything sold on its site that is NOT sourced by them. eBay – also a listing service, is more customer friendly to buyers. Know that Amazon is not necessarily a safe place to purchase until they clean up their act.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.