Looking beyond Whistleblower, after six years and 7,000 tips

The Whistleblower column and blog are shutting down, but our commitment remains to investigating tips from readers.

FTC: Immigrants misled by firm

April 14, 2014
A Baltimore couple and their company were ordered to pay back $616,000 to Spanish-speaking immigrants for immigration services that they were neither qualified nor authorized to provide, the Federal Trade Commission announced last week.

Firm faces heat after "jerk" labels

April 7, 2014
A company that labeled millions of Facebook users as a "jerk" or "not a jerk" is facing federal scrutiny after the agency said it improperly obtained information to create user profiles.
April 2, 2014
In this 2011 file photo, flames reach high in the sky after a gas main explosion near 60th Street and Nicollet Av. S. in Minneapolis.

CenterPoint, Mpls. settle lawsuits over gas explosion near Cub

CenterPoint agreed last week to pay at least $192,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by the City of Minneapolis and various insurance companies after a gas explosion near a south Minneapolis Cub Foods in 2011.
March 26, 2014

Mortgage firm targeted veterans

A company accused of "mortgage scams" spent at least $2 million for a direct-mail campaign aimed at Minnesota veterans, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
March 24, 2014

EEOC: Home health employee fired because she got sick

A federal lawsuit accuses Baywood Home Care of firing Laurie Goodnough because of her fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.
March 19, 2014

Beware of Snapchat Scams

Snapchat users were warned this week to beware of messages sent from unknown users saying you've won a prize.
March 17, 2014

BBB warns about massage business

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota issued a warning Friday about Stephanie Lasch, a massage business owner in the Twin Cities, after customers complained about unjustified charges and worthless gift certificates.
March 12, 2014

Robocaller "Tom" banned by FTC

The company behind robocaller "Tom with home protection" has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for making illegal calls to millions of consumers on the National Do Not Call registry.
March 10, 2014

Company fined for deceiving diabetics

A California company claiming to have discovered a "diabetes breakthrough" was fined $2.2 million for making deceptive claims, the Federal Trade Commission announced last week.
March 5, 2014

Woman charged in policy mill scam

A Brooklyn Center woman faces criminal charges after being accused of posing as an Esurance agent and selling fake auto insurance policies, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
March 4, 2014

Burnsville's United Credit Consultants ordered to stop debt services

United Credit Consultants was ordered to stop offering debt settlement services because it did not have the proper license, the Department of Commerce announced Monday.
February 24, 2014

Did you seek help to fix your credit?

The Federal Trade Commission and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson have warned consumers to be careful when paying a company to help repair their credit.
February 24, 2014

UPDATED: Chiropractor faces more discipline

The chiropractic license of Patrick Corrick was suspended this week after a state panel determined he may be violating the requirements of a stayed suspension imposed in August.
February 18, 2014

CPAs urged to identify fraud against seniors

Commissioner Mike Rothman of the Minnesota Department of Commerce sent a letter to the state's CPA with signs of financial abuse.
February 10, 2014

Marketer banned from sending texts

A Wisconsin marketer was permanently banned from sending unsolicited text messages to consumers after he sent millions of texts to people promising free gift cards and electronics, the Federal Trade Commission announced last week.
February 5, 2014

$56K awarded to fired worker who complained about racist images

In 2010, Dion Miller arrived for his scheduled shift at Sparx Restaurant in Menomonie, Wis., and found a picture of black actor Gary Coleman taped to a cooler, along with a dollar bill with a noose around the neck of a black-faced George Washington.
February 5, 2014

Scammers want you to call them back

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning against "one-ring phone scams."
February 3, 2014

Telemarketer starts new scheme

Suntasia Marketing Inc. tricked consumers into giving up their bank account information by pretending it was needed for an online loan application, the FTC said last week. The company used the bank information to enroll consumers in an online mall membership.
January 30, 2014

FTC: Email threats were fraud

Kobeni Inc. and its president, Yair Shalev, were charged last week in federal civil court in southern Florida for sending e-mails to consumers that said they would be violating the law if they did not immediately click on a link to enroll in health insurance, the FTC said.
January 27, 2014

State agency disqualifies nurses found working in care settings

Following a Star Tribune investigation, the Minnesota Department of Human Services found 72 nurses providing patient care who should have been disqualified from that work.
January 22, 2014

Have you tried to buy a HUD home?

A reader contacted me to talk about her experience trying to buy a foreclosed house from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
State + Local
January 21, 2014

Capitol restoration contractor "exceeding" diversity efforts

Last April, JE Dunn was the only contractor to receiving a failing rating because the department said it was not making good faith efforts to recruit minorities.