With more people expected to their holiday shopping online this year due to coronavirus, the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office is warning people to watch out for scams and fraud.
‘Downtown Dollars’ e-card program to launch next week in Dayton
Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. offered the following tips for safe shopping:
Buy from reputable and familiar retailers. Phishing ads are all over the Internet with deals that are often too good to be true. Consumers clicking on those ads are typically asked to provide personal and payment information that is then used for identity fraud and theft. Shop retailers with websites that have a secure connection or encryption. The web address so should begin with “https” instead of “http”.
Don’t click on pop-up ads. Clicking on the ads can download malware onto devices that steal personal information.
Research sellers when shopping on resale website or social media trading pages. Look the the reviews for sellers and pay attention to complaints. Avoid buying from sellers who don’t have a positive sales history.
Avoid unsolicited email promotions. Unsolicited promotions asking you to purchase an item is most likely a scam.
Use your credit card instead of a debit card. Money isn’t taken directly from your account when you use a credit card. Monitor your statement regularly to check for fraudulent purchases and contest them. Though a gift card isn’t connected to personal banking accounts, racking gift card purchases are more difficult.
Grab your holiday shopping list and head to the Oregon District
Anyone who thinks they’ve been scammed should call the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Consumer Fraud Unit at 937-225-5757 and ask for the fraud division.
Madilyn Dennington, Bailey Mills and Olivia Noe – all roommates – reportedly hosted a party with more than 100 people in attendance on Oct. 31, according to The Tennessean.
Police told the newspaper all three women were issued misdemeanor citations and were served with court summonses.
An affidavit in the case says that police responded to noise complaints at home on the city’s east side. The complaints were about loud music and several people in the yard.
When police arrived on scene, the women told officers they were hosting a football watch party, according to the report.
At the time, coronavirus restrictions stipulated no more than 25 people were allowed to gather in one place unless a special permit was granted by the local government.
The Metro Health’s environmental health services director confirmed to the outlet the Health Department did not receive an event application for the gathering.
Local health officials last week tightened lockdown measures in Nashville, trimming down the number of people allowed to gather to eight from 25 amid a spike in coronavirus cases there over recent weeks.
Police said one of the women who organized the party is a registered nurse at a local hospital.
The women are slated to appear in court on their charges Dec. 16.
Are you a sucker for early aughts and 2010s reality shows like Kell on Earth, The Rachel Zoe Project and House of DVF? If so, get ready for another quite glamorous ride.
It’s been a while since a fashion-inspired series really captivated our attention the way some of these formative ones did. And that’s a hard thing to do in 2020, when the fashion industry itself has been forced to reckon with its historic lack of inclusivity. How do you premiere a show about designer shoes and luxurious, expensive goods without seeming, well, completely out of touch?
That’s certainly a big challenge, but one new series does a pretty good job of engaging us in a way that doesn’t feel trite. Set to premiere Thursday, Dec. 3 on HBO Max, Stylish With Jenna Lyons follows the titular former J. Crew executive, who The New York Times once credited as “the woman who dresses America,” as she reimagines her career years after making pops of color and monochromatic dressing mainstream.
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In a documentary- and competition-style format, she’s joined by her (very loveable) chief of staff Kyle DeFord and (ultra fashionable) stylist Sarah Clary to interview potential associates tasked with pleasing her throughout a series of challenges. And in an exclusive sneak peek at episode two, Lyons meets with the contestants (a.k.a. potential new hires) after they’ve been asked to present a look that successfully interprets what it means to dress in a “high-low” format.
With her signature wide-rim glasses and preppy style, she meets with each aspiring worker bee as Sarah models the outfits they put together. The preview finds Lyons giving her tips and tricks to contestant Kye, who impressed Lyons with the way she used proportions, but failed to make the expensive clothing item (that cable-knit sweater) stand out.
Elsewhere in the series, Lyons encourages the cast to select the right items for a pop-up shop she’s working on. And in another episode, Lyons and her team welcome celebrities like Charlize Theron and Patricia Arquette to a red carpet photo booth they built at the SAG Awards.
Ready to revisit those days spent watching America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway? Then give this a shot.
Stylish With Jenna Lyons premieres Dec. 3 on HBO Max.
Today’s best deals include the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 from $300, Powerbeats Pro at an all-time low, and Anker’s Cyber Week promotion starts at $13. Head below for all that and more in today’s 9to5Toys Lunch Break.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 lineup beats Black Friday
Amazon is currently offering the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 45mm for $330. Typically fetching $430, today’s offer saves you $100, beats our previous mention from Black Friday by $29, and marks a new all-time low. The 41mm version is also on sale for $300, down from $400 and marking a new all-time low, as well.
Samsung’s latest wearable delivers a circular OLED display in either 41mm or 45mm sizes complete with a rotating bezel. On top of the usual fitness tracking features you’d expect, there’s also heart rate monitoring as well as SPO2, VO2 max, and even ECG functionality that’s on the way.
Powerbeats Pro drop to all-time low price at $150
Amazon offers Apple’s Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Headphones in Lava Red for $150. That’s down $100 from the regular going rate and a new all-time low at Amazon. For comparison, we saw these popular earbuds trend between $160 and $170 during Black Friday, depending on the color.
Powerbeats Pro delivers some of the latest technology on the audio side from Apple, offering up to 24 hours of playback and a totally wireless design made for workouts. Apple’s H1 chip makes it easy to quickly pair and enjoy longer range and features like Hey Siri.
Anker Cyber Week sale start at $13
Amazon has kicked off Anker’s Cyber Monday week sale with deals on stocking stuffers, iPhone and Android essentials, and more. Free shipping is available with a Prime membership or in orders over $25. Our top pick is the Anker Soundcore 2 Bluetooth Speaker for $30. That’s down from the usual $40 price tag and the second-best price we’ve tracked all-time.
Notable features here include up to 24 hours of playback on a full charge alongside IPX7 protection from rain, dust, snow, and more. This is a great stocking stuffer idea for parents or grandparents looking to enjoy wireless playback for the first time.
Best trade-in deals
9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device. Or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way!
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Americans are relying on buy-now-pay-later to make holiday purchases this year. That could spell trouble later on, experts told MarketWatch.
Shoppers checking out in stores have traditionally been offered an incentive to save on their purchase if they sign up for the store’s credit card. These days, consumers shopping online are being tempted with the option to buy merchandise now and pay for it later in a series of interest-free installment payments.
And during this holiday season so far, consumers are falling head over heels for these payment plans.
“We are doing more transactions today, in a single day, than during Klarnas first 4 years combined,” Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, a buy-now-pay-later platform, said on Twitter TWTR, +0.34%
on Black Friday. He added that “regularly during the day over 100 transactions per second” were made.
On a competing platform, Afterpay, consumers generated 1.2 million clicks on Black Friday as they perused the directory of stores that have partnered with the company — amounting to 154% more clicks than on Black Friday last year.
or Facebook FB, +3.45%
search referral, when consumers click through Afterpay’s directory they tend to make purchases on the sites they are led to, Amanda Pires, vice president of communication at Afterpay, told MarketWatch.
Related: Cyber Monday 2020 expected to be the biggest online sales day in U.S. history, reaching as much as $12.7 billion: Adobe
Installment payment options have been growing in popularity over the past few years, especially among millennials, but there’s been a surge in usage this year, with consumers using the payment plans at the highest rates ever. That’s due in no small part to the pandemic, experts said.
“It certainly has to do with the economic distress Americans are experiencing,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree.
More than 30 million Americans became unemployed as a result of the pandemic, and nearly 12 million of these Americans will stop receiving unemployment benefits altogether the day after Christmas. Without a second stimulus check on the horizon and a looming cut-off from unemployment benefits, the appeal of buy-now-pay-later is obvious.
But the other side the equation is that “people don’t want to take on or have to have any exposure or any enticement towards more debt,” Schulz said. That’s become more prevalent during the pandemic.
Buy-now-pay-later was gaining traction before the pandemic
Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL), has become more popular across all generations in the U.S. since last year.
The trend is most significant among Gen Z Americans, whose spending through BNPL options increased by 201% since last year, according to Accenture ACN, +1.27%
data compiled by Afterpay. Millennials and shoppers in Gen X and above increased their BNPL spending by 86% and 63% since last year, respectively.
“While adoption was already steadily increasing, it really accelerated throughout this year and particularly as we move into the holiday season when consumers want more spending flexibility for all their holiday shopping needs,” Siemiatkowski of Klarna, told MarketWatch in
Investor optimism is rising heading into the third-quarter earnings report from Ulta Beauty(NASDAQ:ULTA) that will be filed in just a few days. The beauty retailer’s stock was hammered during the initial COVID-19 shutdowns but has recovered most of the lost ground following an encouraging operating update in late August and positive news on the vaccine front.
That improving sentiment will be put to the test when CEO Mary Dillon and her team make public their Q3 results on Thursday, Dec. 3, while offering their best guess at how the holiday season might look for the business.
Let’s look at a few trends investors might want to watch for in that announcement.
Image source: Getty Images.
Did Ulta’s rebound progress?
Ulta has a thriving online business, but the pandemic has still harmed demand in two major ways. Outbreaks have pushed customer traffic down at stores and limited the chain’s ability to use its key competitive advantage on interactive beauty product sampling. COVID-19 has also dampened the need for many makeup products as people stay closer to home.
That situation convinced executives in late August to project sluggish sales through at least the end of 2020. But investors should still see improvement this week. Comparable-store sales declines were 27% in Q2 but had lessened to just 10% in the final month of the quarter. We’ll find out on Thursday whether Ulta was able to get back to growth by late October.
How are Ulta’s inventory levels doing?
The wild swings in makeup demand left Ulta holding some undesirable inventory, but the company has avoided major write-down charges so far in 2020. In fact, Ulta even stepped back on its sales promotions in the first half of the year compared to the year-ago period.
Inventory dropped in Q2, too, but not by as much as sales fell. That means investors will be watching for signs that the company has a strong inventory position heading into the holiday shopping season. Following metrics like gross profit margin, which dove over the last six months, will help answer that question.
ULTA Gross Profit Margin data by YCharts
Ideally, Ulta can make progress in boosting bottom-line profitability back toward the mid-single-digit range after it landed at just 1% in Q2.
What is Ulta looking to do in 2021?
Ulta’s new partnership with Target is exciting for shareholders since it gives the company an attractive platform for adding hundreds of highly efficient locations to its base. Look for Dillon to spend some time detailing that potential on Thursday even as she predicts a sluggish end to the year for the makeup industry.
Ulta initially is aiming to get into about 100 Target locations next year, which will be about the highest annual store growth that the company has achieved in recent years. Sure, these “store-within-a-store” shops won’t have nearly the sales potential as a full retailing store. They might not include any salon services, either. But they illustrate that Ulta is finding new ways to expand its
One of the most heavily advertised products during the holiday sales is the Apple Watch, primarily for the entry-level Series 3 model, which is available for as low as $119 at Walmart.
Buyers beware: What’s being offered for a great price is a 3-year-old product from 2017 that doesn’t offer many of the newer features. How does it compare with the latest and greatest, the Series 6 or the more affordable SE?
We’re here to help. What you need to know:
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Caveat: Apple Watch ‘Family Setup’: How it works, what it costs and what it won’t do
Apple guide: So you want a new iPhone? Apple’s got 7. How to choose the right one for you
The Series 6, the latest, has a starting list price of $399 from Apple, compared with $279 for the 2020 entry SE and the Series 3 for $199. Older models are available at various outlets, including the Series 5 for $329 at Best Buy and Amazon. Note the “starting” price. Apple offers a $25 gift card with purchase of the Series 3 for its holiday sale, which ends Monday night.
You need an iPhone*
The Apple Watch is not compatible with Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy series. What about using it as a plain watch? No dice. You still need an iPhone to set up the Watch, so if you’re not in the Apple world, forget about it. Apple is specific about which model you’ll need. The Series 6 Watch works only with iPhones dating back to the 6S, from 2014. If you held onto your old iPhone 6 or 5S, sorry, it’s not compatible.
*There is a new way this year for some to use a Watch without an iPhone, via Apple’s new “Family” plan. It lets parents buy editions of the Apple Watch and tie them to their iPhone. (Note that the Series 3 watch that’s being discounted doesn’t work with it, but the SE and Series 6 do.)
More on the family plan in a minute.
GPS edition or Wi-Fi/cellular?
The GPS editions of the watch are $100 cheaper, but you’ll need that iPhone on you when you use the watch for receiving notifications, calls, streaming music, apps, talking to the Siri personal assistant and the like. Spend the extra money, and you can do all of the above when out and about (as joggers or stand-up paddlers might want to do), but again, you’ll pay for it. You need to spring an extra $10 monthly on your wireless service plan.
More on the family plan
Apple touts the SE as starting at $279 and the Series 6 at $399, but for the family plan, parents need to purchase step-up editions with cellular connectivity. Those SE models start at $329 for the 40mm watchface or $359 for the 44mm version. Then add roughly $10 monthly for your wireless plan (depending on the
Syracuse lost its seventh game in a row on Saturday as it dropped a 36-29 thriller to NC State in particularly crushing fashion. The Orange trailed by a touchdown in the final minute as quarterback Rex Culpepper orchestrated an impressive drive into NC State territory that ended in disaster.
With the Orange on the NC State 7-yard line with a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, Culpepper took a sack back at the 18-yard line. With no timeouts remaining, the Orange offense hurried back to the line of scrimmage to try and get one more play off before the clock expired.
Culpepper got the snap with a second left, but instead of lifting a pass toward the end zone, he used Syracuse’s final play to try and spike the football. The only problem was that his spike came on fourth down. So even if there had been any time left after the spike, NC State would have taken over possession.
Making matters worse for Syracuse: it led by nine points in the third quarter before the Wolfpack closed the game on a 16-0 run. The win improved NC State to 7-3 (6-3 ACC) ahead of the Wolfpack’s final regular season game next week against Georgia Tech. But the loss merely extended Syracuse’s misery. The Orange’s only win this season came Sept. 26 against Georgia Tech, and Saturday was probably their last real chance for a win as their regular-season finale comes next week on the road against No. 2 Notre Dame.
USA TODAY Sports
Published 6:03 a.m. ET Nov. 27, 2020
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The U.S. women’s national soccer team is returning to action for the first time since March 11, when the team defeated Japan in the finale of the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, one of the last major sporting events before the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports around the world for months.
On Friday, in the team’s first match in 261 days, the USWNT will play the Netherlands, which it defeated in the final of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
The 23-player roster includes 14 players who currently play in the National Women’s Soccer League, seven who are playing in Europe and two college players. Lindsey Horan of the NWSL’s Portland Thorns tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Jaelin Howell, who plays for Florida State and became the second college player on the roster (following Stanford’s Catarina Macario).
USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski, who replaced two-time World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis, has won each of his first 10 games at the helm, tying a record for best start as U.S. women’s national team head coach.
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Black Friday is finally here and so are its many sales on tech — from laptops to Apple’s AirPods Pro — and across major retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, Adorama and many more. Common among many deals are Apple products, from the aforementioned AirPods to MacBook Pros and Apple Watch models. Even Apple is holding a specific four-day sale, during which it’s offering shoppers up to $150 in gift cards with the purchase of select Apple products.
To help give you an idea of all the best Apple deals right now across retailers, we compiled outstanding options below, followed by where you can find swaths of sales on Apple products both newly released and previous models.
Best Apple Watch Black Friday deals
1. Apple Watch Series 6 GPS
Rating: 4.6-star average rating, more than 75 reviews
According to price comparison site camelcamelcamel, this is the lowest price the Apple Watch series 6 has ever been listed. One of several major upgrades to the Apple Watch is a new tool to measure blood oxygen levels and an improved tool for measuring sleep as well as a hand-washing countdown timer. Apple also claims the new Apple Watch 6 charges faster than its predecessor by nearly 40 percent.
Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) $329.98 at Amazon
Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) $379.00 at Best Buy
Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm) $329.98 at Walmart
There are also various sales across retailers for different Apple Watch models. These aren’t necessarily the best deals on iPads at any given moment as each sale carries multiple discounts, but this will give you an idea of what’s on offer at major retailers.
Best MacBook Black Friday deals
Video: Amazon and Apple battle for the best earbuds (CNBC)
2. MacBook Pro
Rating: 4.7-star average rating, more than 2,690 reviews
This new 16-inch MacBook Pro is currently $20 shy of the lowest price since 2019, according to camelcamelcamel. Beyond its 16-inch retina screen and navigation touch bar, the new MacBook Pro is powered by Apple’s M1 chip. The brand claims it replaces multiple chips to help improve your new laptop’s overall performance and power efficiency.