Credit

Equifax freeze extended

If you were procrastinating to get your free credit freeze from Equifax, you have more time. Equifax originally had a deadline of Jan. 31 for its free credit freeze or lift after its huge data breach in the fall. The credit bureau is now offering the free freeze or lift through June 30.

But you should still get to it now and freeze your reports at all of the major credit bureaus, says Beacon Journal consumer columnist Betty Lin-Fisher. For details about credit freezes, read her Jan. 27 column at www.ohio.com/betty .

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Meet up at the Bit Factory

Akron is for Entrepreneurs will hold a meet-up at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Bit Factory on the fifth floor of Bounce, 526 S. Main St.

The networking opportunity will include discussion of the newly launched eBay Retail Revival program.

The event is free, and complimentary appetizers will be provided.

Participants are asked to RSVP by going to facebook.com/AkronEntrepreneurs and clicking on the Events tab.

SMARTPHONES

Apple acknowledges probe

Apple is cooperating with U.S. government inquiries into its secret slowdown of older iPhones, further complicating its efforts to move past an issue that irked customers whose devices bogged down.

The company acknowledged the probes after the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg had reported the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission were investigating how investors have been affected by Apple’s handling of the situation.

A software update released in 2016 began to slow down older iPhones when their batteries weakened to prevent them from abruptly turning off, but Apple didn’t fully disclose what it was doing until December.

Apple has since apologized for not being more forthcoming and is replacing batteries on older iPhones for $29, a $50 discount.

RETAIL

Layoffs at Sears headquarters

Sears Holdings Corp. says it’s laying off 220 workers primarily at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., as it struggles to turn around its ailing business.

A company spokesman said Wednesday the job cuts were across the board and are effective immediately. Sears says it’s offering severance and transition assistance to those workers who are eligible.

Earlier last month, the retailer said it was closing more than 100 locations under the Sears and Kmart names. That includes 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores that will be shuttered between early March and early April. That’s in addition to closing about 250 stores announced last year.

AUTOS

Some Toyota sensors at risk

Toyota is recalling about 645,000 vehicles worldwide to fix an electrical problem that could stop air bags from inflating in a crash.

The recall covers certain Toyota Prius and Lexus RX and NX SUVs. Also covered are some Toyota Alphard, Vellfire, Sienta, Noah, Voxy, Esquire, Probox, Succeed, Corolla, Highlander, Levin and Hilux models. All were produced from May 2015 to March 2016.

Dealers will inspect serial numbers on sensors and replace them if necessary at no cost to owners. Toyota will notify owners by letter in starting in late March.

REAL ESTATE

Pending sales index inches up

The pace of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose for a third straight month in December, raising an index of pending home sales by 0.5 percent.

The National Association of Realtors says its index of pending sales reached 110.1, up from a revised 109.6 in November. The index is now at its highest level since registering 111.3 in March.

Pending sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases. Sales typically follow a month or two after a signed contract.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.