What you should know about the IRS using private collectors

Income Tax Form

Detail view of an Income Tax form about to be completed

If you have debt with the IRS that’s more than two years old, you may soon get a letter from the agency that your account is being transferred to a private debt collector. Continue reading

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Alleged ringleader of IRS scam arrested

Police in India have arrested who they believe to be the ringleader of a network of IRS call centers that allegedly tricked Americans out of millions of dollars.

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According to CNN, Sagar Thakkar, 24, was detained in Mumbai after arriving on a flight from Dubai on Saturday.

Mukund Hatote, assistant commissioner of police in Thane, a city north of Mumbai, said Thakkar stands accused of extortion, cheating, impersonation, criminal conspiracy as well as violating India’s communications and tech laws.

“He was the mastermind of IRS scam call centers in the state of Maharashtra and one center in Ahmedabad,” said Hatote.

Last October, CNN reported Indian police raided nine calls centers and arrested more than 70 people on suspicion of posing as IRS agents to steal cash from U.S. citizens. The fake IRS agents used American accents to impersonate IRS agents and told Americans they owed back taxes and would risk arrest if they hung up or failed to pay up.

Indian police say they have charged more than 390 people in connection with the scheme, and more than 12 remain in jail.

“We are still investigating the total amount of money collected by Sagar Thakkar,” said Hatote. “During the initial stage of investigation, it was looking around $300 million.”

 

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April brings warmer weather and deep discounts

iStock-lawn mower.jpgIf you’ve been planning on upgrading a home appliance or tackling a new remodeling project, now might be a great time. Continue reading

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New federal law prohibits contracts that ban consumers from writing a negative review

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A new federal law signed this past December will protect a consumer’s right to complain online and a write a negative review on a company. Continue reading

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Jump into spring with a healthy clean

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Spring has sprung, so show your home some love and give it a thorough cleaning! A good deep cleaning can improve your home’s air quality and your health by eliminating dust and other allergens that gathered over winter.
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FTC offers advice when a caller asks “Can you hear me?”

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Have you recently gotten a robocall from an unknown caller who asked “can you hear me now”? If you have, the Federal Trade Commission is advising people on what you should do. Continue reading

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Recall issued for Xbox One battery chargers

Close to 121,000 Xbox One video game controller battery chargers are being recalled due to a burn hazard. Continue reading

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Looking for a home? Beware of deceptive mortgage ads

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Are you looking to purchase your dream home? Chances are you’ve seen a couple of mortgage ads promising low rates or payments. But just because an offer seems perfect, it doesn’t mean it can’t have some flaws  Continue reading

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Spring into a new job without getting scammed

Hand holding megaphone - We Are Hiring

As the warm spring weather moves in, the job market begins to heat up, too. However, BBB is warning people of scammers trying to trick job seekers looking for honest work. Continue reading

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Staying above water when drowning in debt

 

infographic, elements, icons, cartoon, banner, businessPaying off debt can seem like a simple thing to do. Just pay off what you can, when you can. But when you in factor daily expenses, bills, and other necessities, the task can become a lot harder.

However, it isn’t impossible. In recognition of Military Saves Week, here are a couple tips to keep in mind when looking to lower or pay off your debt:

  • Make a budget. Figure out the most you can afford to pay each month to reduce your debts, then make those payments without fail. If you have debts on more than one credit card, either pay off the card with the highest interest rate first and work your way down to the card with the lowest rate, or pay off the smallest loan first and work your way up to the largest. Once you’ve paid off your debts, don’t give in to the temptation to start over-spending again.
  • Get professional help. If you live on a military installation you contact the Family Readiness Center for free.  Personal Financial Managers and counselors can assist you in developing a debt repayment plan. Additionally, MilitaryOneSource offers free financial counseling.  Visit their website or call 1-800-342-9647 for more information.
  • Contact your creditors. Contact your creditors immediately if you’re having trouble making ends meet. Tell them why it’s difficult for you, and try to work out a modified payment plan that reduces your payments to a more manageable level. Don’t wait until your accounts have been turned over to a debt collector.
  • Send extra payments.  Beyond making the minimum payment, send extra amount to help make a bigger dent.
  • Stick to your plan. Once your balances are lowered, it can be tempting to start using available credit cards, however, it could prolong the process of reducing your debt. Resist the urge and stay focused on your goal.

 

 

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