Protecting Yourself from Tax Relief Scams
El Cid Bookkeeping, Inc. Accountancy and Taxation, we’ve heard or seen just about every kind of bogus tax relief scheme — heartbreaking cases of even our most vulnerable citizens: the elderly, single parents, the infirm, young couples, and others — all being ripped off by heartless predators preying on anyone unfortunate enough to come into contact with them.
So, we have put up this material to educate consumers about the very real crimes being perpetrated against people just like yourself. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost millions of dollars to fly-by-night companies that prey on folks in serious need of tax relief services. we don’t want you to be next.
15 Red Flags to Look Out For in Your Search
So let us ask you something: Would you go into medical surgery without asking about your surgeon’s credentials? Most of us wouldn’t dream of it. And we should be just as careful before we hand over our money to a commission paid salesperson trying to make a fast and easy dollar by blowing smoke in your face about tax relief services.
1. Anonymous company ownership – What kind of company does not want you to know who the owners are? And why? Can you afford to take a chance on some murky character hiding in the shadows, afraid to let you know their name, or see their face? Fraudulent tax relief companies don’t want you to even think of questions like that, and like these…
2. Unlicensed company ownership – If the company owners are not licensed, and highly experienced tax professionals, what business do they have operating a tax relief business? Are you going to put your life in the hands of tax relief amateurs? Internet marketing slicksters?
3. Unlisted or virtual company location – Why do they not want you to know where they really are located? Big red flag! Are you going to send your money to a hidden boiler room?
4. Unknown professional staff with unknown or unproven experience – Do you want just anybody handling this vital service for you? Don’t you want to know who is working for you? And their qualifications and track record in doing so? Don’t you think you deserve better service than a newbie, a cub attorney, or other bottom of the barrel help? Your life in the hands of an under-qualified greenhorn rookie?
5. No history – The company can not prove how long they have successfully been providing tax relief services. Sure sign of a here today and gone tomorrow, fly-by-night operator. In our decades of experience, we have seen literally hundreds of companies, big and small, rise and fall. Don’t take a chance with someone who plans on closing the doors and disconnecting the phones soon. They will not give your money back to you.
6. Double digit complaint record – Even the best run and squeaky clean company can get a complaint on occasion due to misunderstanding or an unreasonable client. A double digit number of complaints spells trouble. Unethical or incompetent management. Or both. With your money at stake?
7. Use of fraudulent tax relief review or referral sites – Listing themselves as a preferred tax relief provider on a secretly self-propagated review site, of paying a fee to be listed on one not owned. Lack of ethics in marketing usually means lack of ethics period. And ask yourself why a business owner would stoop to sneaky sales tactics? Is this a sign they will be sneaky in dealing with you?
8. Meaningless sales puffery – Use of hot air to reel you in, such as…As Seen On TV, The Most Trusted, Nation’s Best, Most Credible, Industry Pioneer, blah, blah, blah. You have heard this stuff a million times. Just tune it out, and take the baloney with a grain of salt.
9. Use of mass media (TV/radio) commercials – Guess who has to pay for this extra layer of business overhead packed with misrepresentations and outright lies? Which leads to…
10. Excessive fees – Any company wanting more than $5,000 for a full service representation engagement is ripping you off. Period. Believe us, these fraudsters will shamelessly take you for all they can, if you fall for their con jobs.
11. Cold calling – Having telemarketers make uninvited sales calls to your home or office.
12. What’s their refund policy? If they can’t help you, do they give all your money back? Most reputable tax relief professionals have a full money back guarantee. Internet marketing sales snakes do not.
13. Bait and switch contracts – Bait and switch low initial fees. Use of cleverly worded contracts that make you think one thing, but end up meaning something very different. To your detriment. Their mantra is…a fool and his money are soon parted. Or…a sucker is born every minute! These people intend to play you as a rube. Likewise on their low fees which turn out to be only for restricted services. These people are LIARS.
14. Does the company talk about their “affiliates” or “associates”? If so, they might be a lead generation company — which means they sell you and your personal information to the highest bidder, who may or may not be a qualified or ethical tax professional. Or maybe not a tax professional at all, but instead an internet fraudster looking to prey on an uninformed person desperate for help and in a very vulnerable position.
15. High pressure sales tactics – Arm twisting, brow beating, and fear mongering are not the means by which real tax professionals will win your trust and business. If you are thinking about signing up with a company just so they will stop calling you all the time and stressing you out…watch out. If the so-called “Consultant” comes off to you like some kind of a pushy jerk, guess what. You’re on to them!
Avoiding These Situations Altogether
We do not dabble with any of these cheap tactics. We provide the best results in the industry at the best prices, and we guarantee protection levies. Don’t gamble with your money, or your life, by going anywhere else for this critical service. Contact us today and show the tax relief hustlers you’re too smart to fall for their schemes.