Tracy Coenen appeared on a special hour-long episode of CNBC’s “On the Money” devoted to scams and frauds. Check out the top five tax scams that consumers should look out for:
Remember when the leaders of this whole Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) promised us that the spending of our 20 gajillion taxpayer dollars would be “transparent”???? Transparent apparently is synonymous with the word “secret” in their world.
How many ways can our government be un-transparent? Contracts with professional services firms providing services related to TARP have had key numbers redacted. This has included the contracts with Bank of New York Mellon Corp, law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).
Not many people, that’s for sure. As with any multi-level marketing company, a tiny fraction of people at the very top of the recruiting pyramid make some money, and everyone else makes little to nothing.
Here are the numbers posted on a UFF agent’s website in August 2008 (click to see full size):
United First Financial management has asked its agents to not participate on discussion forums, message boards, and blogs. Why? Because they’re having their hats handed to them. Simple math outdoes the UFF “factorial math” any time. Save the $3,500 and simply put your extra cash each month toward your debt with the highest interest rate. You’ll be out of debt faster than UFF will get you there, and you won’t waste hours each month goofing around with this near-worthless software.
Here’s the letter agents received, instructing them to not participate in discussions on the internet:
Tracy Coenen talked on CNBC’s “On the Money” about reducing your property tax bill by fighting your assessment. Property values have declined dramatically, and a homeowner could save hundreds or thousands of dollars by having their assessment updated to reflect the reduced value of the property.
A child suffered for two weeks with a heart condition, while her father gave her large doses of Mannatech products in an attempt to “cure” her. The result? Her mouth was damaged, she’s confined to a wheelchair, and has cognitive (brain damage) problems.
If you watch television, read the newspaper, or surf news sites, you’re sure to have hears about the $50 billion Ponzi scheme masterminded by Bernard Madoff.
The $50 billion in losses is merely an estimate. Some experts (like me) think that the actual losses will be much higher.
Stockbroker Fraud Blog discusses several options victims have for recovery:
- Securities Industry Protection Corporation (SIPC) could provide up to $500,000 per account. (Although I think the customers of the “investment advisory” business which is allegedly where the Ponzi scheme occurred won’t qualify. Only regular brokerage accounts would qualify. And fraud doesn’t qualify either, only unauthorized trading or theft. It will be interesting to see how this one pans out.)
In case you missed it, I was on CNBC’s personal finance show On The Money on Friday.
You can watch the second Web Extra video here. I offered the following year-end tax tips to help consumers:
CNBC’s “On the Money” wants consumers to know how to protect themselves from mainstream business opportunity scams and multi-level marketing schemes that could cost the average consumer hundreds or thousands of dollars.