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How to Find Credible Professional Sources.


Today , we are in the era of information. The Age of Aquarius some might say. With being able to Google, YouTube, and the Guru's that pop up on social media, the integrity of information has been compromised. So, who do you do you trust? How can you decide whether information is true and valid or not?


Finding Credible Sources

Blogs, Vlogs, and Webinars - Most of these vehicles are platforms used by individuals who want to offer their OPINONS, which is ok since they haven't taken away our freedom of speech completely yet. But Consider the source. Who are they? What is their educational and/or experience background? What is their track record with practicing the same things they are trying to teach or preach? Appearance - Many people stop at a person's appearance to determine credibility. Crooks and Scammers wear suits and ties, drive fancy cars, and can speak using big words too. I had a collogue, once, who trusted a guy with $25k to do forex trading, and he lost every nickel. When I looked him up, he wasn't a licensed broker, he had 2 foreclosures, and owed back child support. The clothes he was wearing was bought by a girlfriend. The car he was driving was a rental. So ..Um.. yeah, You have too look past appearances.


Cross Reference - Cross-referencing means making direct connections between two or more sources by identifying and examining areas of agreement and disagreement between them, with reference to specific examples from the sources.So when someone claims to be an expert in a certain area, don't just take their word for it. Look them up. If someone is trying to sell you a "financial opportunity,"Look up their company and see if they are licensed to do so.




How to look up a Professional

Lawyers - There is a Bar Association in each state that regulates and disciplines lawyers for misconduct. It also serves as a directory to do background research on who you intend to use as legal representation. Each state bar is an extension of the American Bar Association.


CPA - Each state has State Board of Accountancy. This is a list of all the boards for each state.


Tax Preparers - Not every tax preparer is a CPA, and not all CPA's are versed in taxation. Not every accountant is a CPA. So, who can preparer your taxes? The IRS has a directory of listed tax professionals who have satisfied their annual recertification as a tax preparer. If the professional has completed their "Continuing Education and ethics training" by the deadline, they will appear on the list.


Another source is the PTIN Directory. A PTIN is an identification number given by the IRS to paid tax professionals. If you don't see this on your tax return, chances are they are not legal. There is no such thing as a "Certified Tax professional" as the IRS has not been recognized as a licensing entity as of yet. Avoid any person who makes this claim as it goes against the code of ethics. Real Estate Agents - Arello or Realtor.com. Not every real estate agent is a Realtor. Here is the difference.

Business Look-up - Look up a business by going to the state of operation on the Secretary of State Website. Here you can see if the business is active or dissolved. Or even if the owner is really the owner.


Check a License tool - Each state will have a Check a License tool website for each profession that requires a license in that state including financial advisors, contractors, doctors and nurses, cosmetologist, etc.


Clerk of Courts - Court records are public knowledge. You can look up a person to see if they have an existing or previous white collar crime charge in any state. Federal Court - https://www.uscourts.gov/court-records/find-case-pacer

The tools are available. It is up to you to use them.

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