Investigative

  Wrong video conference help line routes to scammers

Incorrect tech support numbers posted on the internet lead to scammers trying to trick consumers into giving up their credit card information.

Pharmacists: Doctors writing prescriptions for possible COVID-19 treatment at expense of chronically-ill patients

  Watching Your Wallet: Travel insurance likely won’t cover coronavirus-related cancellations

COVID-19 Tracker: Check out the latest on test results around the country

  Watching Your Wallet: With coronavirus causing market volatility, financial experts help you watch your nest egg

  Sanitized: Online listings for hand sanitizer, disinfectant advertise inflated prices

  Congress takes up insurance rate discrimination

Continued Coverage

  Rate Discrimination: Some insurance companies give better rates for customers with certain jobs, education

  Patriot Penalty: Deployed service members come home to find higher auto insurance rates

  Costly Care: Medicare charged hundreds more than drug’s cost at cash value

  Illegal Contact: Banned drugs found in athletic performance supplements

  Recognizing Hate: FBI begins counting its own hate crime cases in federal data, inaccurate numbers remain

  Watching Your Wallet: Make smart money moves before 2020

  Preying on patriotism: Sham veterans and first-responder charities ousted for deception, their professional fundraisers largely left unscathed

Sham veterans and first-responder charities have been put out of business for misusing donations but their third-party, for-profit fundraisers remain in business.

  Watching Your Wallet: Don’t break your gift budget this holiday season

Americans plan to spend an average of $825 on holiday gifts this year, according to NerdWallet. Experts give you ways to stay on budget and find the best deals.

  Cashing in on Charity: Donations meant to help sick children, wounded veterans, abused animals instead benefit for-profit fundraisers

Professional fundraisers are for-profit companies that contract with charities to solicit donations by telephone or through the mail. The industry is loosely regulated and can keep as much as 100% of donated dollars.

  Study finds area of North Port, Sarasota and Bradenton is 4th most dangerous for walking in the U.S.

One recent study named the area of North Port, Sarasota and Bradenton the fourth most dangerous metro area for walking in the entire county.

  Blowing Away The Smoke: How Suncoast School Districts Are Cracking Down on Vaping

What about opportunity zones on the Suncoast?

Missed Opportunity: Federal initiative meant to help poor neighborhoods benefits the rich

  Hidden Damage: Wrecked, flooded border patrol truck sold at dealership without damage declared

  Fake Filters? Made-up addresses, strange receipts and copycat websites reveal knock-offs on the market

  Watching Your Wallet: Student loan debt reaches all-time high

  Measure of Hate documentary explores the undercounting of crimes in America

InvestigateTV shows issues with undercounting hate crimes, including the FBI failing to meet a federal mandate to report. After months of reporting on this issue, this documentary also highlights results of the investigation, including police departments amending their records.

  Watching Your Wallet: Decade-by-decade, experts help you save for retirement

By retirement, financial experts say you should have at least eight times your annual salary saved up. NerdWallet explains how to get there, decade-by-decade.

  Fake Filters? Companies falsely claim to have prestigious water safety certification

With water quality and safety concerns across the country, many families are turning to water filters. But there are counterfeit filters and filters carrying fake certification marks.

  Untested Waters: Feds take small steps toward inspecting more seafood

The FDA has a new strategy for imported food safety, and Congress has increased seafood inspection funds. But the U.S. still lags behind some other countries when it comes to inspections and regulations.

Watching Your Wallet: Experts say to shop around for the best deals on car insurance and cell phone plans

A NerdWallet financial expert offers tips on saving money on car insurance and cell phone bills: Watch this and don't pay for what you don't need.

  DAYCARE DANGERS: How to prevent your child from becoming a victim

Digging for details about your child’s future daycare is thankfully getting a bit easier for Suncoast parents. Aside from being able to search violation histories on the Department of Children and Families’ website, the Early Learning Coalition for Sarasota County has created a “Look for the Stars”

  Three routes through the Suncoast - which is the quickest?

Three routes through the Suncoast - which is the quickest?

Watching Your Wallet: Spring housing market secrets revealed

Want to get top dollar for your home this spring? Or are you looking to buy your first home? NerdWallet gives tips for those on both sides of the equation.

  DNA Detectives: Scientists combining forensics with genealogy break ‘unsolvable’ cases

Scientists are using forensic genetics to help solve decades-old cold cases.

  Digital Dangers: You may be putting yourself at risk for electronic identity theft without even knowing it

The Federal Trade Commission says the Sunshine State has the second highest rate of identity theft per capita. Last year alone, Floridians lost 84 million dollars to hackers. ABC7’s Jacqueline Matter found you may be putting your identity at risk without even realizing it.

  Failed and Forgotten

The deaths of hundreds of children because of abuse or neglect goes unnoticed every year by agencies that protect kids. Congress and a 45-year-old law are largely to blame.

  A trifecta of failures puts kids at risk

When children die because of abuse or neglect, child protection agencies are often blamed – they are underfunded and overworked. But there are many other culprits who failed children.

  Digital rollbacks: Millions of cars have false mileage on odometers

Carfax experts say there are potentially more than one million cars on the roads with false odometer readings - meaning their mileage has been rolled back to make the vehicles look like they have less wear and tear.

Watching Your Wallet: Experts give advice on reining in your tax refund

Rather than taking a tax refund check and splurging on a quick shopping spree, NerdWallet advises people make smart spending – or saving - plans.

  Undercounting hate: FBI will not report its hate crime numbers again this year as required by law

The Uniform Crime Reporting Act of 1988 requires federal law enforcement agencies to submit information about their cases to a federal database maintained by the FBI; however, those agencies are currently not submitting data, including information about hate crimes.

  Watching Your Wallet: Thousands of consumer complaints hidden in federal watchdog database

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides information about financial institutions, including complaints. But NerdWallet and InvestigateTV have found examples of complaints that don't show up in the database.

  ABC7: Representative Greg Steube with Bill Logan

ABC7′s Bill Logan spoke with representative Greg Steube on Friday.

  Radon, described as “The Silent Killer,” found in 1 out of 5 Suncoast homes

You can’t see it, smell it, or even taste it. It’s pretty much invisible, and gives humans absolutely no symptoms when you breathe it in.

  Why do you see so many speeding drivers on I-75? Florida Highway Patrol staffing issues could be to blame

A recent study shows that every day, nearly a thousand people move to the State of Florida. ABC7 has learned that the population boom is a concern for The Florida Highway Patrol, which says it can't add enough troopers fast enough to handle the growth.

  Watching Your Wallet: Experts explain the new tax code in simple terms

With sweeping tax code changes affecting this year's filings, experts from NerdWallet help explain how the changes will work for different people.

One year after Parkland: How has school security changed on the Suncoast?

One year ago, 17 students and staff were gunned down in Parkland, Florida. Both Sarasota and Manatee County Schools made major changes post Parkland to better protect their students.

  Untested water: 99.9 percent of foreign fish goes without testing for unsafe drugs

According to government reports, there is evidence that the main oversight agency for seafood, the Food and Drug Administration, has failed to meet new mandates to increase inspections at foreign food facilities.

  Home security systems continue to evolve with the time, but does they also become more affordable?

Home security systems continue to evolve with the time, but does it become more affordable?

  Calculating hate: Federally mandated count leaves out untold number of crimes in America

Serious hate crimes from murders to attempted bombings do not show up in federal hate crime data, according to analysis by InvestigateTV.

Punishing hate: Paper tiger laws serve up little to no penalties for attackers

Prosecutors say some state hate crime laws are so weak they "aren't worth the paper they're printed on."

  Multiple sex offenders found on Facebook despite ban

Under Facebook's policies, convicted sex offenders are not allowed on the site; however, InvestigateTV identified multiple offenders who appeared to have recently active profiles.

  Numerous customers of Exclusive Kitchens (Floors) and More are coming forward with new allegations against the company

Numerous customers of Exclusive Kitchens (Floors) and More are coming forward with new allegations against the kitchen remodeler company

  Sarasota kitchen remodeler accused of taking customers for hundreds of thousands of dollars

Sarasota kitchen remodeler accused of taking customers for hundreds of thousands of dollars

“Pod” program works to alleviate overcrowding in Sarasota Jail

Instead of spending $103 million in taxpayer dollars for a new jail, the Sheriff’s Office has taken a different approach to jail overcrowding: the “pod” program.

  Sarasota County has highest rate of unvaccinated kindergartners in Florida

Sarasota County has highest rate of unvaccinated kindergartners in Florida

Millions of federal dollars set aside for suicidal veterans goes untouched in 2018

Millions of federal dollars set aside to help suicidal veterans went untouched in 2018. Now Congressman Vern Buchanan is calling for answers and local veterans are calling for change.

  Generation Z brings unique perspective to the workplace

If your child was born between 1995 and 2010, they’re technically part of Generation Z. That means the oldest members are graduating from colege and working alongside Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.

  Benefit bill could help firefighters during life-threatening cancer battle

Firefighters put their lives on the line around the clock to protect families. Surprisingly, it’s not always the direct flames that injure or kill the first responders. Firefighters may not learn about the true dangers associated with their battles for years.

  America says goodbye to The Greatest Generation

We can credit journalist Tom Brokaw for first describing World War II veterans as the greatest generation, but we’re slowly losing them to sickness and old age. The men and women grew up during the great depression, and they’ve done a lot more than just serve during the second world war.

Watching Your Wallet: How much could you earn if you invested your coffee money?

Financial experts from NerdWallet say saving and investing as little as $20 a week can amount to $170,000 in retirement money.

  What’s next for the greyhounds now that racing is coming to an end?

What is going to happen to the greyhounds now that racing will be illegal by the end of 2020?

  How to avoid becoming a victim of a charity scam

How to avoid becoming a victim of a charity scam this holiday season.

  Social media and the First Amendment

Where is the line with the First Amendment and social media?

  The reason why FDOT won’t add netting to prevent suicides on Sunshine Skyway Bridge

In between the thousand of cars that drive the four mile stretch of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge daily, at least one dozen people have jumped from the top in 2018.

  Domestic violence numbers around the holidays

How domestic violence numbers look around the holidays compared to the rest of the year.

  Watching Your Wallet: Strengthen your financial fitness before 2019

While many people think about health and wellness resolutions for the new year, financial experts recommend thinking about money goals too.

  Can Veterans Affairs take away a vets’ benefits if cannabis is detected?

Can Veterans Affairs take away a vets’ benefits if cannabis is detected?

  Owners of Trademark Pavers arrested for embezzlement, scheming to defraud

Owners of Trademark Pavers arrested for embezzlement, scheming to defraud

  Reforming our criminal justice system

President Trump is giving a plan put together by his son-in-law Jared Kushner and some members of congress a thumbs up.

  Posts on social media come back to haunt those in politics, sports on the Suncoast

What happens on the internet will always stay on the internet, but some people don’t think twice before making an inappropriate post.

Cracking the case: New DNA technology solves murder, rape case in Sarasota

Genetic genealogy has solved twenty rape and murder cases to date, in just the six months it's been used as a tool by law enforcement.

  Clean hits in high school football

New rule changes and technology are helping to make the game of football safe.

  Nuclear fallout: $15.5 billion in compensation and counting

Thousands of nuclear weapons workers are seeking compensation from a federal program that has ballooned far past initial projections - and some say they're being denied based on incorrect information.

Watching Your Wallet: Company offering to help lower student debt under investigation

A company offering to help people reduce their student loan debt is now under investigation. One St. Louis woman says her debt actually increased after trying to work with the company.

  Mice. Mold. Messes.

Hundreds of Americans live in deplorable rental properties and their landlord is the federal government. The properties need $50 billion in repairs. Uncle Sam now is hoping that private investors will save public housing.

Watching Your Wallet: Will Social Security be there when you retire?

Research shows many Americans are concerned with whether Social Security will be available when they retire, but many aren’t saving. NerdWallet experts help explain the realities of Social Security and what you can do.

How local political ads are popping up on your Facebook feed

What you like on Facebook, websites you visit and videos you watch all play a role in how ads are targeted for you.

  The Rise of Antisemitism

The horror inflicted in Pittsburgh last week, shattering the lives of eleven families, the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and the entire city.

  Candidates for Florida House District 71 Debate

The final debate at the trapezoid before the midterms taking place Tuesday night for the Florida House District 71.

  The candidates for House District 74 Debate

The debate featuring State House 74 candidates James Buchanan and Tony Mowry.

Watching Your Wallet: Travel More, Spend Less

Brad Barrett took $4,000 Disney trip for a family of four for only $150. Seriously.

  FL-16 Congressional debate on ABC7 at 7

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - One of the most highly anticipated races in the country is right here on the Suncoast in Florida's 16th Congressional District. Rep. Vern Buchanan is being challenged by a well-known and accomplished trial attorney David Shapiro who is looking to be the first democrat elected to Congress in the district since 1983.

  Careful where you swipe: Risky places to use your debit card

(CNN) - In some cases, it's easier to get fraudulent charges dropped from your credit card than your debit card.