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Beware of the Internet Gurus and Influencers

The Internet Gurus are spreading like a wild fire on social media trying to get as

many viewers as they can by speaking on topics that they may not be necessarily versed in, but are trending topics nonetheless, in hopes to have their content monetized. You really can't blame people for trying, but eventually bad information catches up with people. If you cause enough financial harm to consumers and they began to complain, the Alphabet People ( FTC, SEC, FBI, CFPB, etc...) will get involved.

The Financial Gurus

As Tax Star Mobile Clients, some of you may know one of my pet peeve is people with no financial, business, tax, legal, background or education pretending to be experts giving consumers advice about matters they are not fully versed in. A lot of the time it is regurgitated "GENERAL" information they have heard from someone else they did not credit, or from the results of trial and error experimenting that they are giving full disclosure on.

The consequences of this is that consumers are subject to fines, fees, penalties, and even criminal charges if they choose to follow random advice blindly. Because fraud has increased tremendously and government agencies are on full fraud alert. This results in stricter laws and law enforcement, accusation of the innocent when someone wants to reduce their charge or if a government employee want to improve their stats or save their own job, and causes financial hardship to the consumer.

This is also results in personal ACCOUNTABIITY and holding you, the consumer, responsible for any damages caused by following influencers. Many government agencies will ask you if you consulted with a professional, read any contracts before signing, reach out to the government agency (IRS, SBA, City) with any questions, before making a decision to participate in a particular act. If you answer no, You may not be exempt from any of the penalties that may follow.

Influencers endorsing products

Did you know that it is the responsibility of the internet influencer to let their followers know when they are being compensated for promoting a product or service? This is so the the followers know the difference between the paid promo in which they need to do more research, and when the influencer is giving a personal testimony from actually using the product or service on a regular.

Be Wise as a Serpent

Here are some tips if you are heavy into following social media influencers.

  1. Most people have brand loyalty when they like a product or service. When you see an influencer shout out multiple brands for the same product, they are more than likely getting compensated for the name drop.

  2. People who do not have a license in the world of business and finance tend to be very anxious to produce information. The NUMBER ONE rule in business in finance is ASSET PROTECTION. They will not showboat, brag, fan money, or post a million selfies with assets. Unless they are inviting lawsuits, welcoming theft, and enjoy triggering IRS audits.

  3. Breaking down strategies publicly is not the character of real business, financial, or legal strategist. They may drop very broad or general information, but anything specific will have to be discussed in private one on one. Why? Because of rule NUMBER 2. Nothing in finance is EVER 1 size fits all. Everyone has different circumstances.

  4. People who have certifications and/or licenses have to follow a code of ethics. They CANNOT make any guarantees about financial outcomes. They also cannot price gouge. Some fees are sate regulated. If you are following a person charging ginormous fees or making promises, chances are they are fraud.

  5. There is no social media requirement to prove education or certification. So before signing up for someone's "Master Class", ask them about their credentials. A lot of Guru's will preach " you don't need an education" to become rich, to run a business, or to invest. Stay away from those. These people like to take advantage of the ignorance of others. You may not need a college degree, but you will most definitely need a fundamental education of whatever venture you want to persue to avoid liability, scams, money loss, and other consequences.

  6. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

  7. Stop looking for shortcuts. Desperations attracts scammers. Come to terms with your starting point. Detach yourself from materialism. Make up in your mind to make progressive change through realistic goals.

  8. Come to terms with having to pay people who paid for the education, the tests, the certifications, the licenses, and made the sacrifices for their time. Isn't that better than paying someone $2,000 for a loan application that took 5 minutes to fill out with lies that will get you in trouble, $1600 for a business credit card approval, or $10,000 for a master class being a taught by an instructor you are not sure is qualified to teach?


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