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New York City Restaurant Serves Up $35,000 Thanksgiving


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s a feast fit for a king.For a whopping $35,000 big spenders can enjoy a delicious nine-course Thanksgiving dinner. That’s $8,750 per person - and it’s being offered at Old Homestead restaurant in New York City’s Meatpacking District. But co-owner Marc Sherry says it isn’t about the money.“It’s about the ingredients being used and giving people the Thanksgiving of a lifetime,” he tells ABC News. “For 150 years we’ve been doing the same old turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. This year we wanted to do everything over the top.”The extravagant dinner includes edible 24-carat gold flakes, sweet potatoes topped with $16,000 Royal Osetra 000 Caviar, squab (young pigeon) stuffed with foie gras, and of course, a turkey.“The whole turkey is surrounded by seven pounds of prized Wagyu from Japan,” Sherry says. “It’s the finest beef available in the whole world.” In addition to an array of high-end eats, the package comes with grandstand seating at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a $6,000 Bloomingdale’s shopping spree, door-to-door limousine service, and dance lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studios to learn the Turkey Trot.“We are always searing for the bigger event,” says Sherry. “I wanted to have the greatest event for a party of 4 – a Thanksgiving dinner with attitude.”Old Homestead is hosting for just three parties of four. So far, the restaurant has sold two dinners. Only one of the $35,000 dinners is left up for grabs.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dow and S&P Continue to Climb to Record Highs


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 reached new record highs on Monday.The Dow climbed 7.84 points to 17,817.90, and the S&P jumped 5.91 points to 2,069.41. The Nasdaq went up 41.92 points to 4,754.89.Retailers were among the biggest gainers as traders hoped for a solid holiday shopping season. The consumer "discretionary" sector, which includes Coach, Urban Outfitters, and The Gap, led blue-chip gains.Merck has entered a partnership with a small drug developer to research and manufacture a potential Ebola vaccine. The vaccine is under early development by BioProtection Systems, a subsidiary of NewLink Genetics Corp.A third of employees have to work on Thanksgiving, which is down slightly from 37% last year. The percentage of employees who work on Thanksgiving has been dropping over the past 15 years, as nearly half worked on Thanksgiving in 2000.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Save Cash on Thanksgiving Dinner Despite Higher Food Costs


John E. Kelly/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The price of Thanksgiving dinner might be going up, but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank to get turkey and all the fixings on the table.This year, various foodstuffs popular around the holiday are more expensive -- including sweet potatoes, cream, milk and pumpkin pie mix.Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people will cost $49.41, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, up 37 cents from last year.Chef Candice Kumai told ABC News that when it comes to deal-hunting around the holidays, she turns to her mom, Miho Kumai Gwiazdowski, to find out how to cut corners without sacrificing taste. If you're pinching pennies but also hosting, here's how to get the most bang for your buck:Skip the Sweet PotatoesThe price of sweet potatoes is up this year, but most guests will be plenty happy with an alternative starchy side: garlic mashed potatoes or potatoes au gratin, for example."Look in the ads and see which place has the best prices. Usually, you can get a 10-pound bag of russet potatoes during the holidays for a couple dollars!" Kumai said, noting that it's one of her mom's favorite money-saving tricks.If you're really craving the sweet potato side dish, consider mixing them with regular potatoes."You could take the sweet potatoes and combine them with a little bit of russet as well, and make a sweet potato mash," Kumai said. "If you're really on a budget you can combine things like that to bulk them up. And that way, you can still incorporate a little cinnamon and sugar, and do a sweet mash."Get Creative with DairyDairy is also more expensive this year, but there's a clever shortcut if you don't already have cream on hand."So everybody today usually has Greek yogurt or regular yogurt in their fridge," Kumai said. "And I typically put a little Greek yogurt in my mashed potatoes to keep them creamy, without adding extra milk or cream. So it saves on calories and you won't actually have to go out and buy milk.""That can take the place of everything from sour cream to milk and heavy cream," she added.Stock Up on TurkeyTurkeys are actually cheaper this year, so no need to skimp on the main part of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, Kumai recommends stocking up on the birds."Most shopping centers have this deal where if you spend $25 or $50 at the store, they give you a discounted turkey," she said. "They basically want you to buy your whole meal there.""My mom got a 20-pound turkey for $12 this year by doing that! She loves the deal so much that she buys two turkeys during Thanksgiving, because it's always cheaper, and then she freezes one for Christmas," she said.Delegate DessertsThe price of pumpkin pie mix is up this year, but another popular sweet -- cranberries -- is cheaper. So keep that in mind when making desert.You might swap pumpkin pie for ice cream or sorbet topped with leftover cranberries, or cranberry cheesecake, Kumai said.Or, you can always ask someone else to bring the pie.Dilute Booze, But Don't Skimp on CoffeeIf the American Farm Bureau Federation's price estimate sounds cheap to you, it's probably because the group doesn't take alcohol into consideration.Drinks could end up being the priciest part of hosting dinner, Kumai said. She suggests offering wine spritzers instead of wine to save cash and stretch your supply. Plus, you'll reduce your risk of drunk guests."Especially because you don't want to drink and drive during the holidays," she added.The AFBF notes coffee prices are up this year, too, but that doesn't mean you can get away with only serving post-dinner tea."It's a personal preference thing," she said. "It's best to have both on hand. You can offer tea, but don't push."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

CPSC Chair Challenges Craigslist: It's Time to 'Step Up'


Craigslist founder Craig Newmark speaks with ABC News outside his San Francisco home in 2014. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a challenge to Craigslist to make its site safer for consumers following a joint investigation between ABC News and ABC affiliates across the country, which showed potentially hazardous recalled products for sale on the popular online ad site.CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement over the weekend that the ABC News investigation “independently corroborated the fact that Craigslist allows the sales of dangerous, recalled products.” He also wrote that the network’s reporting "also appears to have contributed to a potential new stance on safety by Craigslist.”Kaye called Craigslist’s current efforts to thwart dangerous product resales “clearly not sufficient” but said that he looks forward to meeting with company representatives.“To the extent that Craigslist is finally ready to step up in a genuine fashion to protect children from the sale of recalled products, my team is more than willing to work together with [Craigslist CEO] Mr. [Jim] Buckmaster's team. I look forward to receiving his letter and communicating with him directly on a possible path forward that will protect consumers, especially children,” wrote Kaye.The joint investigation conducted by ABC News' 20/20 and 17 local affiliates revealed the Craigslist site is loaded with items that are illegal to sell because they have been recalled for safety defects. Other major reseller sites, like eBay and Amazon, employ robust technological safeguards to flag or block posts of recalled products -- measures Kaye said Craigslist refuses to match.But after ABC News started asking questions, Kaye said it appears Craigslist may be changing their stance.“I am aware that Craigslist has posted a letter regarding some new steps they finally plan to take to prevent the sale of recalled products -- many of which can be deadly to children,” said Kaye. “I am hopeful that CPSC and Craigslist can work together to make the online marketplace far safer.”Kaye’s statement was partly in response to an open letter posted online Friday by Buckmaster, which said that while he agrees the consumer product recall system is deeply flawed, he was “dismayed” by Kaye’s remarks in the ABC News reports, like when Kaye called the company “morally irresponsible” for not doing all it can to prevent the sale of recalled products.“You rightly lamented to ABC [News] that for a typical recall, 95 [percent] of the recalled items are still in the hands of consumers 5 years after the recall notice…These figures are utterly shocking,” the letter from Buckmaster says. “Imagine our dismay when you and ABC ‘came out shooting’ at craigslist. Last we knew from your representatives, earlier this year, we were taking all appropriate steps to reduce the number of free classified ads for recall items by craigslist users.”Buckmaster invited Kaye to San Francisco to “discuss how craigslist can further assist the CPSC in addressing product recalls.”Kaye's full statement is below:I commend Brian Ross, his investigative unit at ABC News, and ABC affiliates across the country, which independently corroborated the fact that Craigslist allows the sales of dangerous, recalled products. The network's reporting also appears to have contributed to a potential new stance on safety by Craigslist.I am aware that Craigslist has posted a letter regarding some new steps they finally plan to take to prevent the sale of recalled products—many of which can be deadly to children. I am hopeful that CPSC and Craigslist can work together to make the online marketplace far safer.To the best of our knowledge, as confirmed by ABC News, Craigslist has programmed their system to stop only one recalled consumer product (the Nap Nanny infant recliner, which is responsible for numerous infant deaths) from being posted for sale on their website. By monitoring CPSC's weekly postings of recalls on our website, as many online retailers do, Craigslist staff can actively identify dangerous products that should be blocked on their site. If they can stop the recalled Nap Nanny from being resold, we believe that Craigslist can keep children and consumers safe by stopping transactions involving other hazardous products.After the reports by Brian Ross and ABC affiliates started airing, it appears that Craigslist added a caution notice when a seller selects the “baby and kids stuff” category. The warning states, ‘no illegal sales of recall items, e.g. drop-side cribs, recalled strollers.’ This is a positive step forward. Yet, even with the caution notice and link to CPSC’s website, sellers can still post most recalled items. Thus, that step alone is clearly not sufficient.To the extent that Craigslist is finally ready to step up in a genuine fashion to protect children from the sale of recalled products, my team is more than willing to work together with Mr. Buckmaster's team. I look forward to receiving his letter and communicating with him directly on a possible path forward that will protect consumers, especially children.Elliot F. Kaye Chairman U.S. CPSCFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Can You Guess the State with the Biggest Spenders?


Tetra Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As Americans approach prime shopping season, the impulse to spend beyond one's means will inevitably creep into some households. But some states are apparently more addicted to debt than others -- and they aren't necessarily the regions one might expect.An analysis of all 50 states and the District of Columbia released by personal finance network WalletHub that compared personal spending against cost of living and income revealed that the state blowing the most cash is Mississippi."Mississippi ranked highest due to a combination of spending more per capita than most other states on food, gas and health care, as well as ranking fifth in auto and credit card debt and third in percentage of population spending more than they make," said Raz Daraban, a spokesperson for WalletHub.Surprisingly, New York is at the opposite end of the spectrum in all but average home size and percentage of population spending more than they make, he added, categories in which the Empire State ranked 12th and 26th, respectively.But while those in the Magnolia State may be living large and accruing debt, the most moneyed individuals in the country actually reside in California.According to Wealth-X, a prospecting firm that focuses on ultra-wealthy intelligence, 13,445 ultra high net worth individuals -- defined as having $30 million and above in net assets -- reside in the Golden State.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Google Maps Features to Ease Thanksgiving Travel


Google(NEW YORK) -- Google Maps released a few new updates this month that could come in handy just in time for the Thanksgiving rush.The latest iteration of the Google Maps app for Android now offers users the weather. While it's not necessarily that helpful for traveling to Grandma's house 20 miles away, having the extra guidance could make all the difference for holiday road trips.Another subtle but helpful Android update: Tap the pin that comes up for your destination, and you'll be treated to more details about the area.The small changes, which were first noticed by Android Police, come shortly after Google unveiled an aesthetic overhaul of the Maps experience.Aside from the new bold colors and layered experience, the latest Google Maps also includes Open Table integration, making it that much easier to make reservations.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Budweiser Pulling Its Clydesdales from Holiday Ads


Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Budweiser is keeping its Clydesdales in the stable.In a bid to stop the slide in Budweiser sales to young drinkers, the brand will not be using the traditional horses in holiday advertising.“The self-proclaimed King of Beers is more of an afterthought among young consumers,” says The Wall Street Journal. “Some 44 percent of 21- to 27-year-old drinkers today have never tried Budweiser, according to the brand’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.”Instead, Budweiser will be overhauling its marketing campaign, introducing new commercials and sponsoring events like food and music festivals designed to get Millennials to put down their craft beers.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Amazon Faces More Competition this Holiday Shopping Season


NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Amazon is getting a run for its money as the holiday season kicks into high gear. The firm that revolutionized online shopping is facing more competition from brick-and-mortar rivals. “Amazon should be worried,” says Poonam Goyal of Bloomberg Intelligence. “Their two-day shipping offering is great, but now you have Target saying we’re giving you free shipping on everything: any order, any price throughout the holiday season.”Price competition is really stiff, especially for the best-selling brands of toys. “Walmart actually beat Amazon in the latest week on prices. They’ve been neck-and-neck throughout the last three weeks that we’ve been pricing,” says Goyal.Bloomberg’s survey checked the prices of 125 brands of best-selling toys at Amazon, Walmart, Toys R Us, K-Mart and Target.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Visa, Amazon and iTunes Are the Big Three Gift Cards


E+/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gift cards may be among the most requested gift items this year, according to the National Retail Federation, in part because the choices are seemingly endless.CardHub, the credit card comparison site, used data from its gift-card exchange service between November 1 and November 20 and listed the most popular gift cards of 2014 with the Visa gift card emerging as the winner.Here are the top ten:1. Visa Gift Card2. Amazon Gift Card3. iTunes Gift Card4. American Express Gift Card5. Netflix Gift Card6. Walmart Gift Card7. Target Gift Card8. Google Play Gift Card9. eBay Gift Card10. Starbucks Gift CardAt present, there are 12,647 gift cards available in CardHub's exchange, which allows users to sell, buy or exchange gift cards.Meanwhile, a spokesman for CardHub said the company has a commercial relationship, in which CardHub gets a cut of every purchase made on its website, with two companies that issue the gift cards in the top ten list: Amazon and American Express.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sports Betting Is Okay with Most, Poll Finds


Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The major sports organizations won a major battle against sports betting when a federal judge last week decided against New Jersey's attempt to legalize it at the state's casinos and horse racing tracks.However, the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA may ultimately lose the war if most Americans have any say in it.A Seton Hall Sports Poll on sports wagering found that 55 percent of 847 adults surveyed across the U.S. believe it should be legal, with just a third siding with the NFL and the other sports groups that believe it hurts the integrity of the games played.Meanwhile, 13 percent had no opinion on the issue or didn't know.Asked how sports wagering should be regulated, two-thirds said on a state-by-state basis while 29 percent think it should fall under the realm of the federal government.New Jersey has since filed an appeal to legalize sports betting. A majority of state residents support the effort, according to the Seton Hall poll.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Judge Upholds Ban on Sports Gambling in New Jersey


Credit: Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) -- A U.S. District Court judge on Friday ruled that New Jersey can not partially eliminate a ban on sports gambling.Federal law makes sports betting illegal in New Jersey and most other states. New Jersey had hoped to legalize sports betting, but had no intention of licensing or regulating the gambling. The National Football League and other sports organizations had sued to block the legalization of gambling, Bloomberg News says.Four of the 12 casinos in Atlantic City have shut down in 2014, and Gov. Chris Christie had hoped to boost the state's economy by allowing sports betting at ractracks and casinos.The New York Times reports that the state is expected to appeal the ruling.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Craigslist Fires Back After Government Criticism Over Recalled Products


ABC News(NEW YORK) —  The CEO of Craiglist posted an open letter to a top U.S. government safety official Friday, saying that while he agrees the consumer product recall system is deeply flawed, he was “dismayed” that the official singled out his company in an ABC News report.“You rightly lamented to ABC [News] that for a typical recall, 95 [percent] of the recalled items are still in the hands of consumers 5 years after the recall notice… These figures are utterly shocking,” the letter from Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster says. “Imagine our dismay when you and ABC ‘came out shooting’ at craigslist. Last we knew from your representatives, earlier this year, we were taking all appropriate steps to reduce the number of free classified ads for recall items by craigslist users.”Buckmaster invited Kaye to San Francisco to “discuss how craigslist can further assist the CPSC in addressing product recalls.” “Since you, personally, have been the one leading the criticism, I trust you agree it will be time well spent for you as CPSC chairman, and I as craigslist CEO, to meet in person,” the letter says.The letter came hours after ABC News Good Morning America broadcast parts of an interview with Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Elliot Kaye, who said that Craigslist is “morally irresponsible” for not doing what some other major internet resale sites do to block the sale of defective products under government recall.“They do not and will not do it to date,” said Kaye, despite repeated requests from commission officials to set up the same filters used by Amazon and eBay to prevent recalled items from being posted.Kaye said the result is the easy availability of items that could injure or kill children.”I think it is irresponsible,” Kaye told ABC News in an interview to be broadcast further Friday night on World News with David Muir and 20/20.Previously, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark refused to answer questions about the site’s refusal, saying he was only a “customer service representative” at the company that has made him a multi-millionaire.An ABC News investigation, conducted with 17 ABC stations across the country, found the Craigslist site loaded with items that are illegal to sell because they have been recalled for safety defects.Among the potentially dangerous items discovered on the Craigslist site was a Bumbo baby seat linked to a series of accidents in which infants fractured their skulls or suffered other serious injuries.The Bumbo was later recalled, and owners were offered a safety belt, but the original version continues to be offered for re-sale on Craigslist.When ABC News attempted to list the recalled version of the Bumbo on Amazon it was immediately blocked. On eBay, the listing was removed by the site 24 hours after we posted it.But the Craigslist ad ABC News posted for the recalled item remained on the site for a week until we took it down on our own.The Consumer Product Safety Commission praised Amazon and eBay for acting “responsibly.”“They filter hundreds and thousands of online product notices to make sure with certain tags, make sure that these products are not up there,” Kaye said.Craigslist, he said, “will not do it, has not done it, but should do it.”In a written statement, the Washington government relations executive for Craigslist, William C. Powell, said the site has an automated system to help prevent posting of recalled items and also “provides a system where users can flag postings advertising recalled items for removal.” (Click here to read Powell's statement in full.)The spokesperson said Craigslist prohibits the sale of recalled items.That notice is on the posting page, and elsewhere the prohibition of recalled items is on line 15 of a 22 line-long list of a wide range of prohibited categories.“I still think it’s irresponsible not to join in with the rest of the community who have certainly recognized that they should take action in this arena," he said.Craig Newmark and Craigslist came under similar criticism five years ago over its policy of allowing postings that appeared to be ads for prostitution, and were linked to several murders.At the time, Newmark addressed the issue in an interview with ABC News, saying, “If an ad on our site appears which is wrong for any reason, if it is criminal, we don’t want that on our site.”Craigslist later dropped its adult service section.Five years later, Newmark refused to address the issue of ads for the illegal sale of recalled items, saying he was no longer involved in the management of the company is only a customer service representative. In his letter, Buckmaster said Newmark had become a “victim of completely underserved criticism” and is a “dedicated philanthropist.”After asking for the name of the ABC News director, he walked away from ABC News cameras.To see if a product you’ve purchased has been recalled, go to www.SaferProducts.gov. Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dow and S&P Reach Record Closes


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 reached record closes on Friday.The Dow soared just after Friday's opening bell when China's central bank cut a key interest rate. It closed up 88.94 points at 17,807.94.The Nasdaq went up 11.10 points to 4,712.97, and the S&P went up 10.73 points to a record finish of 2,063.48.The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in 34 states in October-- a sign that steady hiring is becoming the norm across most of the country.  Online streaming service Aereo filed for bankruptcy less than five months after an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court said Aereo had been operating like a cable TV company, and unless it paid broadcasters licensing fees, it was in violation of copyright law.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Five Scams to Beware of This Holiday Season


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Holidays are a time for joy, family and maybe a few presents. But it's also when scammers and thieves are on the lookout for shoppers who let their guard down.Here's how to stay safe this holiday season, and what scams to watch out for:Too Good to Be True Deals: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."This is what we're considering the year of the breach," said Robert Siciliano, an online security expert for McAfee. "Consumers need to recognize that there's a solid chance their email is currently in the hands of a criminal."That's why people should watch out for emails appearing to be from big brands offering dirt-cheap deals."Do not click the links in the body of the email -- just don't do that," he said.There's a chance the email is a fake. To find out if the deal if real, visit the retailer's website directly.Fake Charities: People might feel the urge to be charitable during the holidays, but they should always make sure they are giving to a reputable organization.Never hand over your financial information to someone who calls claiming to be from a charity, Siciliano said. If you want to give, call the organization directly. The same goes for online transactions. Instead of clicking an email link purporting to be from a charity, go directly to that group's website to donate.$100 Bill Scam: Police in Maryland have warned citizens about a scary scam involving a thief who places a $100 bill on the windshield of a parked car, and waits for the driver to return. The driver gets in the car and sees the bill on the windshield, and when they get out to grab it, leaving the car door open, the thief then swipes the vehicle. At least, that's the crook's plan, according to the Maryland Attorney General's office. However, there have been no police reports about the scam, the attorney general's office said.Credit Card Fraud: You should be cautious with your credit cards year-round, but especially around the holidays, when you're probably more likely to use them, experts said.Carolyn Balfany of MasterCard said people who do their Christmas shopping online should be careful to only use well-established websites."Look for security markers," she said. "The consumer should be vigilant and smart, and only shop on trusted website with merchants they know."Avoid giving your credit card number to someone verbally or letting anyone write the number down.iScams: People use their smartphones more than ever today, and the holiday season is no exception.But be careful about what apps you download around the holidays. New ones may not be entirely secure, according to McAfee. Watch out for apps that request too many permissions -- they may get access to information you want to keep private, the company said.And only download apps from an official app store, never from a third-party.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dow Jones Industrial Hits New High


Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading at new highs Friday thanks to an interest rate cut by the People’s Bank of China and the suggestion of new stimulus by the European Central Bank.As of 10 a.m., the Dow was up about 162 points.Markets generally go up when central banks cut interest rates.This sort of immediate jump does not say much about the health of economies around the world. They are an indication of investors moving money into assets that they think will make money in coming months.It remains to be seen whether China’s interest rate cut will lead to a stronger economy.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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