Google accused of allowing scammers to display fake adverts for debt help online

Laveta Brigham

Which? said fraudsters have targeted vulnerable consumers seeking debt help
Which? said fraudsters have targeted vulnerable consumers seeking debt help

Google is not clamping down hard enough on scam adverts appearing in their searches, according to a new investigation.

Consumer group Which? claimed it had found fake adverts for debt help charities and financial firms.

The group says it found search results for common saving terms such as “top Isa”, “best bonds” and “best fixed rate bonds” contained dubious adverts for “investment finder” services encouraging people to fill in their details.

One victim lost £160,000 after clicking on an ad for what appeared to be an Aviva investment scheme. Despite trying to make sure the website was legitimate, they ended up speaking to a fraudster.

They were reimbursed under a banking industry code which protects blameless bank transfer scam victims.

Which? said fraudsters have also targeted vulnerable consumers seeking debt help, with “lead generator” ads imitating charities. They encourage them

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All the best movies we saw at Toronto Film Festival, ranked (including ‘MLK/FBI’)

Laveta Brigham

It’s definitely a different Toronto International Film Festival than usual, with a couch and a Keurig taking the place of theater seats and a coffeehouse stop.

In a year when everything in the movie industry has had to scramble amid COVID-19, Toronto (running through Sept. 19) is the biggest of the A-list film festivals to go virtual, with a reduced slate of movies for an event that’s considered one of the biggest kickoffs for Oscar season. Still, you can’t ignore its cache, even in a very strange 2020: The last five best-picture winners all played Toronto, so it might be the place that (at least virtually) launches, say, Chloe Zhao’s road drama “Nomadland” (starring Frances McDormand) or Francis Lee’s lesbian romance “Ammonite” (with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan) into Academy Awards consideration. 

Save a seat for Frances McDormand: New drama ‘Nomadland’ is Oscar-ready

‘Penguin Bloom’: Naomi Watts was ‘the most

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Many neighborhoods destroyed as fire, smoke devastate Oregon families, workers and homeless

Laveta Brigham

PHOENIX, Oregon — Betty Stevens stumbled down the street that had until a few hours ago seemed so familiar, her feet crunching through ash and debris as she entered the smoking remains of her neighborhood. There were melted street signs. Trees burned down to stumps. Power lines across the road. And everywhere she turned, choking, acrid smoke.

Sobbing behind the facemask she normally wears for her job as a hospital respiratory therapist helping coronavirus patients, Stevens, 31, video recorded herself earlier this week as she stumbled through the neighborhood, raw emotion in her voice, sometimes unable to form words, moaning in obvious pain.

“I think everything’s gone,” she says as the rising sun illuminates the destruction. “This doesn’t do justice to how terrifying and horrific this is, seeing how devastated everything is. Our homes are gone. Our homes are completely gone.”

The Alameda fire is one of more than 2,000

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Is it safe to back-to-school shop on Poshmark and at secondhand stores during a pandemic? Experts weigh in

Laveta Brigham

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Is it safe to shop at thrift stores and online during COVID-19?
Is it safe to shop at thrift stores and online during COVID-19?

As we transition into fall, students are still looking for back-to-school clothing that is stylish and affordable, whether they are in a Zoom class online or in-person on campus. With trends changing daily, many people opt to buy and sell previously-loved clothing, shoes and accessories through online social commerce platforms like Poshmark.

When Canada entered lockdown in March, stores remained closed and shoppers weren’t able to head to their favourite thrift store to go through racks of sustainable clothing. This made many people take their thrift game online to change the way they purchased secondhand goods.

PhD student Kate Bauer says she still spends her free time re-selling her closet on Poshmark so she can remain up-to-date with the

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Black scientists highlight racism in the lab and the field

Laveta Brigham

Overt harassment and subtle intimidation during fieldwork compound the discrimination that Black scientists already feel in academic settings

WASHINGTON (AP) — University of Washington ecologist Christopher Schell is studying how coronavirus shutdowns have affected wildlife in Seattle and other cities. But when planning fieldwork, he also thinks about how he’s perceived in neighborhoods where he installs wildlife cameras.

“I wear the nerdiest glasses I have and often a jacket that has my college logo, so that people don’t mistake me for what they think is a thug or hooligan,” said Schell, who is African American.

The recent episode of a white woman calling the police on a Black birder in New York’s Central Park shocked many people. But for Black environmental scientists, worrying about whether they are likely to be harassed or asked to justify their presence while doing fieldwork is a familiar concern.

Tanisha Williams, a botanist at

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Biden sizable but not radical tax plans

Laveta Brigham

ATLANTA (AP) — President Donald Trump describes Democratic challenger Joe Biden as a “tool” of “radical socialists” who are bent on taxing every American business and household into bankruptcy. Some progressives say Biden is a corporate crony who will never address systemic inequalities in U.S. society.

In reality, Biden has taken a relative consistent approach over five decades in politics and during his latest White House bid. The former senator and vice president backs an active federal government that he says should support but not constrict private enterprise, and he believes the highest federal tax burden should fall on the wealthiest.

“Go out and make a million bucks,” Biden would sometimes tell deep-pocketed donors during his early campaign fundraisers. “Just pay your fair share” back into the system.

A look at his tax plans:

KEY NUMBER: $400,000 OF TAXABLE INCOME

Biden says no individual with taxable income of $400,000 or

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How hunger has reached crisis level on college campuses (exclusive)

Laveta Brigham

Yahoo Life has partnered with Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning broadcaster Soledad O’Brien for the exclusive premiere of the documentary Hungry to Learn (watch above). O’Brien and her team followed four college students facing the hard choice of paying for college or paying for food and housing. She discovered that an astounding 45 percent of college students are struggling with hunger. In the article below, O’Brien reports on how the hunger crisis is escalating this fall as most campuses open remotely because of COVID-19, leaving financially struggling students with no place to live or eat.

When Isabella Moles started the 2019-20 school year at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., her grades were rising. She was a leader in her sorority and on her campus. She had two jobs and a car. The school had found scholarship money to address her most vexing problem: food and housing costs she couldn’t afford because

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bring in martial law if you lose election

Laveta Brigham

<span>Photograph: Sam Corum/EPA</span>
Photograph: Sam Corum/EPA

Roger Stone, whose 40-month prison sentence for lying to Congress and witness tampering in the Russia investigation was commuted by Donald Trump, has said Trump should seize total power and jail prominent figures including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg if he loses to Joe Biden in November.

Related: Trump uses Fox News interview to accuse Biden of taking drugs

The long-time Republican strategist and dirty trickster, who has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, lied about contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 election regarding emails hacked from Democratic party accounts.

In turn, special counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate intelligence committee suspected Trump lied when he said he could not recall discussing the leaks with Stone.

Stone did not turn on Trump and had his sentence reduced on the recommendation of attorney general William Barr. But he still faced prison before Trump acted.

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Voting by mail is more secure than the President says. How to make it even safer

Laveta Brigham

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread mail-in voting is essential to maintaining voter turnout and preventing the spread of the virus. Our unprecedented dependence on mail-in voting is precisely why it is important to take a serious look at the security of the process. We can only improve the safety of mail-in voting if we understand where there are legitimate concerns to begin with.

Some of the most widely circulated concerns surrounding mail-in voting fraud, however, are not grounded in fact. President Trump has alleged that widespread use of voting by mail would allow foreign countries to send in ballots and that there is “tremendous potential for voter fraud.” The technical reality is that fraud of the sort Trump has claimed is widespread would be easily detected by the ballot-scanning systems and ballot barcodes used by the majority of election jurisdictions. Ballot scanners verify that the ballot is

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9 ways to make your own stimulus check (and forget Congress)

Laveta Brigham

For a while there, it was looking pretty certain that Americans were going to get another round of those $1,200 coronavirus “stimulus checks.”

Democrats, Republicans and the White House all said they wanted to give out more money to relieve financial pain and stimulate the economy, and the U.S. House voted in May to provide fresh payments. But stimulus money was missing from a COVID-19 relief bill that was just introduced in the Senate — and promptly died.

If you could use another $1,200 right now, why wait around while Washington plays the usual games? Here’s a better game: look around and find your own sources of cash, to give yourself a stimulus check. Check out these nine ways to create one on your own.

1. Curb your car insurance costs

ADragan / Shutterstock

If you’re like most people, your car insurance is due every six months. It’s very

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