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Consumer Confidential: LeBron gets energized, Dunkin' going public, Osama scam

May 4, 2011 | 10:24 am

Lebronpic Here's your wistfully Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Want to shoot hoops like LeBron? Can't help you there. But now you can maybe get pumped like the basketball star. LeBron James is part of a group behind a new product called Sheets energy strips, a caffeinated thing that dissolves when placed on the tongue. Company officials say the strips will be in stores nationwide early next month. The company, Purebrands LLC, lists James as a co-founder, along with his longtime confidant and business partner Maverick Carter and entrepreneurs Warren Struhl and Jesse Itzler. The strips are supposed to provide caffeine comparable to one cup of coffee, and a vitamin boost as well. James says he has been using the product before workouts and Miami Heat games. "I've tried tons of other products in the past and none compare," James says. And you thought it was just natural ability that made the guy so good.

--This probably says something about the recovering state of the economy: The folks behind Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream are getting ready to offer their shares to the public again. Dunkin' Brands Group didn't say how many shares it will offer or when the offering will take place. But the company did say in a regulatory filing that it sees "significant opportunity" to expand in foreign markets and outside the Northeast U.S., where it is concentrated. Dunkin Donuts says that about 60% of its stores' revenue comes from coffee drinks, which offer high profit margins because they're relatively cheap to make. Over the last several years, it has positioned itself as an "anti-Starbucks," a place to get a good cup of coffee at a low price.

-- Heads up: Scammers are trying to dupe you into parting with personal information by offering a bogus video of Osama Bin Laden being killed. The scam has been appearing on Facebook. Someone appearing to be a friend posts a link to video footage of the terrorist being shot. If you click the link, you won't see the video because, of course, there isn't a video. However, you will be asked to take an online survey. That, of course, is the whole point of the scheme. The scammer makes money for every survey that's filled out. Promising sensational footage of Osama Bin Laden getting greased by Navy SEALs is just the latest way to get people to click on a link. What's more, your computer will also start sending the link to people. If you receive such an offer, ignore it.

-- David Lazarus

Photo: LeBron James wants fans to get energized. Credit: Jim McIsaac/MCT