Weekend roundup: Pollution fine, job offer scams, exploding casseroles

  • Blog Post by: James Eli Shiffer
  • August 22, 2011 - 11:59 AM

In this era of unemployment, some folks have found steady work in ripping off the unemployed. So says the Better Business Bureau, which last week offered a number of tips for recognizing “phony job postings” on the Web. Scammers use these postings for stealing identities or even money, by asking the “applicant” to set up a bank account for the non-existent paycheck.
So what are the telltale signs of a phony help-wanted ad?
•Spelling and grammatical errors.
•Requests for Social Security numbers, bank account information and other private information.
•Claims that you can get rich without leaving home.
•Demands for up-front payments, such as for background checks.
•Requests that the applicant cash a check and wire the proceeds back to the “employer.”
Finally, if you get an e-mail claiming to be from a job posting website saying there’s a problem with your account, it could be an attempt to install malware or a virus on your computer.
Exploding casseroles

Martha Stewart definitely would not approve of this hot dish. Macy’s last week recalled about 960,000 cast iron casseroles from its Martha Stewart Collection because parts of it can turn into kitchen shrapnel.















“The enamel coating on the cast iron casseroles can crack or break during use,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced in the voluntary recall notice. “This can cause the enamel to crack and fly off as a projectile, posing a risk of laceration or burn hazard to the user or bystanders.”
Despite two reports of flying enamel that likely ruined someone’s meals, there are no known human casualties of the defective casseroles. The Chinese-made casseroles, priced from $25 to $170, were sold between June 2007 and June 2011 at Macy’s stores and, AAFES, MCX and NEX locations nationwide.
To find out whether you’ve got one of the recalled products, go to or call (888) 257-5949.
Pollution fine
Companies that own and run the St. Paul district heating operation agreed to pay a $55,000 fine after violating air pollution limits between 2008 and 2010, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said Friday.
Ever-Green Energy, St. Paul Cogeneration, District Energy St. Paul Inc. and Environmental Wood Supply were parties to the settlement with the MPCA. The companies supply heat and electricity to local businesses.
Among other violations, emissions from the wood-fired boiler at 125 Shepard Road exceeded limits on carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, according to the MPCA.
An Ever-Green spokeswoman told the Associated Press that the company and its affiliates fixed the problems and are cooperating with the MPCA.


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