Checkout Lane, The List, why your caller ID might be lying and more.


 


Checkout Lane: Strollers

Buying a baby stroller used to be a practical endeavor, said Lee Gardner, manager of Baby Essentials in Easton, Mass. Now it can be more like buying a purse. “The colors are brighter, more vibrant, and some have pretty patterns,” he said. “People care about stuff like that. It makes a statement about the person that pushes the stroller.”

The aesthetic diversity of strollers these days, coupled with successful television product placements, have made strollers status symbols of sorts for some. Despite the hype, many parents are looking for rugged, lightweight strollers. It just so happens some of the hipper models are also some of the most practical.

Gardner said some of the most popular general-use models are made by Bumbleride, Phil & Ted's and Bugaboo. Prices range from about $100 for an “umbrella” stroller - which folds for easy storage - to $900 for a personalized Bugaboo stroller.

Gardner said choosing a stroller should come down to making sure the child is comfortable. “I think a customer should push it around, put their child in it, see how they like it,” Gardner said. “It's such a big purchase. They should make sure and try it out first.” (A.J. Bauer/The Patriot Ledger)

The List

According to Forbes, here are America's most trustworthy large-cap companies:

- Loews Corp (Insurance)
- HJ Heinz (Food processing)
- Sunoco (Oil and gas)
- AGCO (machinery)
- Consolidated Edison (Electric utilities)

Number to Know: 115

Dollars per barrel that oil reached Wednesday, yet another new record.

Quote of Note

“Since I’ve been in business, I’ve never seen as much stress going on as I have right now. Every time I go up in prices, I’m sweating and trying to go up the least amount as possible. I know my customers’ paychecks aren’t going up, and the last thing I want to do is hurt them. But if things don’t go down, I’m looking at further price increases and that’s a hard thing to do.”

Joe Crowley, owner of Malden’s Pisa Pizza in Malden, Mass., on the rising prices of flour, tomatoes and more. (Kristin Erekson)

Tip of the Week: Mark National Secure Your ID Day

Even with all the high-tech scams used to steal personal financial information, the most common way for people to be victimized is through old-fashioned manual (or visual) theft. More than half of all identity theft occurs when the thief had direct contact with the victim’s personal information, through a stolen or lost wallet, rifling through a personal mailbox or trashcan or even lifting documents from inside a home or business. Chances are, you have paperwork sitting around that you don’t need, but a scam artist does. If you don’t need it, dispose of it through the Better Business Bureau’s nationwide Secure Your ID Day on May 3.

“Shredding sensitive paper documents is an important first step, but it doesn’t end there,” Joy Bender of the Better Business Bureau said in a statement. “That’s why BBB experts will be distributing important advice and simple steps everyone can take to prevent ID theft in their daily lives, both online and off.”

The free shredding service will be coupled with dispensing resources for protecting personal information. For information about how Secure Your ID Day will be marked in your area, visit www.us.bbb.org. (Canton Repository)

Tech Tip: Don’t Always Believe Your Caller ID

A lot of people use caller ID as a convenience to screen unwanted calls from telemarketers and the like. But some con men have found a way to get around the system, according to the Better Business Bureau. For example, you can go to a Web site called www.spoofcard.com and pay for a way to have a fake number appear on someone’s caller ID. It is another example of what the BBB calls “spoofing.”

For as little as $10, Web sites such as spoofcard.com will let you disguise your phone number. And it is not illegal to disguise your number unless a telemarketer does it to get around the no-call list and get you on the phone. There are dangerous implications of the spoofing scheme for ID theft – for example, if someone calls and it looks like your bank, for example. (Canton Repository)

GateHouse News Service