Investigate

  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.

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

  Judge tosses marijuana charge for man who legally purchased CBD product

  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

  You have a right to post an honest review about a business

Continued Coverage

  Scam alert: Chatty Words with Friends players prey on women

  Scammers target college students as fall semester begins

  Watching Your Wallet: You can save money on school supplies before and after the first day

  Genetic test scam targets Medicare recipients

  Locked Down: Inside the prison where inmates set each other on fire and gangs have more power than guards

  Scammers ‘spoofing’ bank phone numbers to send out phony alerts

  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.

Virginia schools work to prevent financial aid fraud

Among the largest programs is the Pell Grant, a Federal award available for students who demonstrate financial need.

  Slot-like gaming machines generate legal debate in Va.

Despite how they look, the company that owns the machine emphasizes that they are not games of chance.

  Widow still searching for answers after husband’s headstone installed with errors

Charlottesville Police Department adds car attack to federal hate crime data

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

  Untested Waters: Feds take small steps toward inspecting more seafood

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

Woman who ran nationwide Facebook scam sentenced

  New scam tricks phone users into changing PIN

Police say the thieves emailed Verizon customers and said there had been fraud on their accounts. Those emails included a callback number.

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.

  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.

  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.

  Amid proposed city tax hikes, RPS funds $100K gala, $125K lobbyist position

The Richmond School Board announced a round of layoffs last month and cuts to areas including special education and attendance officers.

  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.

  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.

  Two-year home improvement battle solved in two weeks with NBC12

A two-year battle over home improvements was solved in about two weeks once NBC12 On Your Side Investigators stepped in.

  Richmond grandmother unhappy with match-making service

A Richmond grandmother looking for companionship says she felt let down by a local match-making service that charged her almost $5,000 to find dates.

  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.

  Why you should file your taxes early this year

Experts say we will likely see a boom in tax fraud, thanks to the Equifax hack, and thieves making off with the social security numbers of more than 145 million Americans.

  Charlottesville chief vows to update hate crime data

What happened at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville in August 2017 is not on federal hate crimes records.

  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.

  Customers furious after longtime auto shop closes without notice

Several customers are upset after a longtime Baugh Auto Body Shop closed for business without notice.

  Local federal employees hit with another challenge as they head back to work

Local federal workers returning to work for the first time in 35 days say they were hit with an unexpected cost, parking.

  New Apple scam more sophisticated than usual

This email scam looks like a legit email from Apple and contains a link to dispute that purchase.

  What happens to gift cards for bankrupt companies?

When a company declares bankruptcy, everyone owed money by that retailer lines up.

  Cars seen driving through railroad stop arms in downtown Richmond

Just after 9 a.m. Thursday more than 10 cars were seen driving through the stop arms at the 14th Street and E. Byrd Street railroad crossing near the Mayo Bridge.

  Central VA hospitals post price lists as new rule begins

A sweeping new federal rule will make all prices at hospitals public for the first time on Jan. 1.

  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.

  Scam alert for 2019: ‘Shimming’ is the new skimming

This method is similar to card skimmers, but a new technique targets the chip in your card that’s supposed to help prevent identity theft.

  Report shows young adults not saving much for retirement

The research found most young adults prioritize short-term goals like vacations, debt repayment and home ownership over retirement

  GPS-linked apps reveal precise location data to companies

An investigation fsays at least 75 companies get anonymous, precise location data from apps from users enable location services to get news, weather and other information.

  Parents beware: Watch out for Fortnite charges on your credit card

An Ohio mom recently got a fraud alert from her credit card company, telling her about $950 in charges on her card were made through her sons' accounts.

  Sex offenders find ways to ‘skirt’ Facebook’s ban

One-and-a-half billion users are on Facebook every day. And among those profiles are people who are not allowed to be on the platform, according to Facebook.

  Gift card scams: What to watch out for

Your only real defense is to use gift cards as fast as you can, so you hopefully beat thieves to the punch.

  Extended warranties: A good buy or a waste of money?

Extended warranties are what they try to sell you, in case the product you buy suddenly stops working within the first year or two.

  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.

Scammers targeting people on Instagram, other social sites

IntSigns, an eCommerce fraud prevention company, studied data on hundreds of thousands of fraudulent online purchases.

  804 area code one of worst in country for robocalls

Richmond is getting blasted by robocalls with more than 22 million calls in the last two months. What's going on? How do you fight back?

They’re watching you: How to protect yourself from hidden cameras, illegal surveillance

It’s no secret we’re constantly being watched with all of today’s technology, but now more than ever, we’re hearing stories of people being caught on camera in places they would never imagine.

  Report: Toxic metal known to cause cancer found in jewelry sold nationwide

The report says several adult jewelry items tested positive for cadmium, a toxic metal that damages the kidneys and bones over time.

  How can you save money booking hotel rooms?

Checkbook.org, a non-profit consumer group, crunched the data on thousands of hotel bookings in dozens of cities, through 18 different discount sites.

  Share photos of your kids on social media? These hashtags could put them in danger

Some parents are also posting dangerous hashtags that experts say could lead sexual predators right to their children.

  Ride-sharing services increasingly popular for trips to hospital

You’re in an emergency and need to get to the hospital. What do you do? An ambulance is the obvious answer-- but it may no longer be the most popular. We find out why ER doctors say cost is driving more patients to pull up a rideshare app instead of calling 911.

  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.

  Virginia Senator to Facebook: ‘Americans have a right to know who is behind political ads’

In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) and Mark Warner (D-VA) wrote: “Americans have a right to know who is behind political ads that are designed to influence our democracy.

  12 On Your Side: Insurance dispute over water damage in Chesterfield home

12 is On Your Side tonight with a warning to make sure you handle water damage claims quickly. If not, you could end up in a mess with no money to repair your home.

  How local political ads are popping up on your Facebook feed

Check your Facebook feed right now and you probably will see political ads. Here is why and how they target you.

You’re in a political ad. (But you don’t know who’s behind it)

Political organizations with shadowy origins are spending millions on Facebook ads, and some people featured in the ads don't know who the groups are either.

How to reduce the cost of prescription drugs

A recent Consumer Reports survey of people who take prescription medications found that high drug costs are forcing some of them to cut back on groceries.

  Assisted living facility in Richmond being shut down

The Department of Social Services confirms that Jones & Jones located at 7806 Forest Hill Ave. is being shut down and residents living there are being relocated.

  Watching Your Wallet: Travel More, Spend Less

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

  Scammers impersonate bank fraud investigators

Scammers are now impersonating bank fraud investigators to reach their victims, and steal their money.

  Warning signs you’re on a phony website

Credit bureau Experian says online shopping fraud is booming, with a more than 30 percent jump from 2016 to 2017.

  Generic vs. name-brand items: App helps you find the lowest cost

Have you stood in an aisle of the grocery store torn between a store brand and a name brand?

  Watching Your Wallet: Budget now for holiday spending

Planning travel and shopping months in advance can pay off in the long run, financial experts say.

Mold in your apartment, what are your rights?

NBC12 spoke to an expert at Central Virginia Legal Aid Society and got answers that may help you.

  Report: Customers are overpaying on a quarter of all prescriptions

A new study shows patients are overpaying on prescriptions sometimes because they are using insurance, rather than paying the cash price.

  Richmond man receives $20K in free dental care

Richmond man receives 20K in free dental care thanks to a local dentist who stepped up.