Some penny auctions use cheap tricks to cheat consumers

Penny auction sites lure thousands of consumers daily with cheap prices on brand-name electronics, designer handbags and discounted store gift cards. describes penny auctions as “a combination of bingo night, the Home Shopping Network and a slot machine addiction.” But an investigation by the Washington Attorney General’s Office shows how some of these sites can fool consumers into paying big bucks on an auction with no winner.

Attorney General orders window sellers to be transparent in their marketing

SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office continued its efforts to clear up alleged deceptive marketing practices among window selling businesses by reaching a settlement this week with Harley Exteriors, of Bothell. “We’re making it crystal clear to Washington window retailers that they have to be upfront and honest about the price of their products and can’t make misrepresentations in order to boost their profits,” said Assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini.

McKenna, Microsoft Announce Landmark Spyware Lawsuit

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced the filing of Washington’s first lawsuit under the state’s new computer spyware act. The suit, filed late yesterday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, accuses New York-based Secure Computer, as well as associates in the United States and India, of marketing software that falsely claims computers are infected with spyware and selling consumers a program that claims to remove it. In fact, the software renders computers more susceptible to attacks.

Should you co-sign a credit card for your student?

As a teen, my mom instructed me in how to apply for my first credit card. We went to The Bon Marché, which at that time offered a “student” card with a low limit. Mom told me to buy a pair of socks with my new card. And then we right back to the register and made a payment on my account. One pair of socks. Charged and paid for that day. And then the card was tucked away in a safe place. Years later, that first credit card (now Macy’s) remains my oldest account – and factors into my credit history.

Washington Attorney General sues ReconTrust for illegal foreclosures

SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that his office is suing ReconTrust Company, a subsidiary of Bank of America, for conducting illegal foreclosures on thousands of Washington homeowners. “ReconTrust ignored our warnings, repeatedly broke the law and refused to provide information requested during our investigation,” McKenna said. “ReconTrust’s illegal practices make it difficult, if not impossible, for borrowers who might have a shot at saving their homes to stop those foreclosures.”