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[Note: after this post, Ryan Jordan has resigned. Not that this post caused him to quit, but that you should know.]

Say it ain’t so!

It may well be, at least if you don’t already consider the personal income tax to be a huge fraud.

A man was contesting his tax liability, claiming offset losses for gambling mostly with video poker. The Tax Court issued a decision that you cannot be a professional gambler playing video poker. That is sort of interesting. The decision managed to cite to www.wikipedia.org eight times.

Wikipedia is based on people all over the world contributing and eventually the truth will surface. The site is supposed to be self-correcting with the masses all adding to articles and fixing them when they discover errors. This is not bad in theory much like communism works in theory. The Wikipedia process depends on enough people telling the truth.

The New Yorker had an article about Wikipedia and was referred to Essjay, an anonymous contributor and moderator of the site who identified himself as “‘a tenured professor of religion at a private university’ with ‘a Ph.D. in theology and a degree in canon law.’” After the article was published, it was discovered that “Essjay” is actually Ryan Jordan, twenty-four years old, with no advanced degrees and has never taught.

Ryan Jordan was hired by Wikia, a company affiliated with Wikipedia as a “community manager” and held several responsible positions within the Wikipedia community.

When this fraud was discovered, the owner of Wikipedia immediately fired Ryan Jordan and apologized to the internet community for his oversight because the credibility of Wikipedia rests on the honesty of the moderators and the contributors — JUST KIDDING!! Here’s the real response according to the New Yorker: “Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikia and of Wikipedia, said of Essjay’s invented persona, “I regard it as a pseudonym and I don’t really have a problem with it.”

He doesn’t really have a problem with it? That shouldn’t be too surprising if you consider that Jimmy Wales has already re-written his own Wikipedia biography. According to Wired News, Jimmy Wales had already made substantive changes to his online biography re-writing his own history and deleting references to Larry Sanger as a co-founder of the website. According to the article, Mr. Wales acknowledged that you shouldn’t edit articles about yourself and that the Wikipedia guidelines at the time (12/19/2005) cautioned about fixing articles about yourself. The current guidelines curiously omit this suggestion.

So Wikipedia.org has some very serious credibility issues. The founder of the website has decided on different standards for himself vs. others. It would not have been too difficult for him to ask other editors to make the changes for him which is also underhanded but at least in line with the guidelines for the site.

Now the Federal Government through the Tax Court has used Wikipedia to bolster a tax bill for an additional $3,068.

Comments Welcome

Or as others might say, No Wai.

People are too gullible. Way too gullible. It is too easy for people to get sucked into scams because people always want a quick buck.

A group of con-men will be going to jail. They preyed upon religious people and exploited their beliefs. One of their scams was that Joseph Smith had an overseas trust fund worth $1.6 Trillion and they just needed some money to get the funds over here. No way. Not by a long shot. This sounds much like the old Nigerian 419 scam. [Here is a humorous site of Nigerian Scam baiters, may contain some inappropriate language.]

Both of these scams, the Nigerian 419 and the trust fund are also known as advance fee fraud or the Spanish Prisoner.

If you are ever asked to send someone money via Western Union and you do not know them, be either very cautious or ready to part with the money with nothing to show for it in return. The transaction is not traceable and the money can be picked up anywhere in the world, even with fake ID.

Another common scam is the overpayment.

You sell something on E-bay and you have the payment method through PayPal. You sell a nice rare book for $110 (including shipping) and they “mistakenly” pay you $210. Oops. No problem they say, just send the extra $100 back to me, thanks for the book. Being an honest person, you send the money. A couple of days later, Paypal informs you of some discrepancy or difficulty with the $210 transfer and that you don’t really have that money anymore. You just mailed someone a book and sent them $100 too.

This happens with check deposits, wire transfers, and other transactions. The key is to wait until the transaction is cleared completely before sending any money back. Be especially careful if they overpay and ask you to send the money back via Western Union.

According to this man with a radio show and books, you may unwittingly be creating your own Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, or sometimes a Chapter 7, without ever setting foot in court or paying an attorney.

If you hire a service to pay your bills for you and you just pay them a lump sum once a month it could appear on your credit and may be treated like a Chapter 13 repayment plan. If you use a debt negotiator that will “settle” and reduce your debts with credit card companies, that is treated like a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. These are services offered to “help” you but may do more harm than good.

There have been advertisements that under the U.S. Code, you can consolidate and reduce your debt!! They were really offering Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

There are too many scams out there and there are more every year. 12 Daily Pro was shut down by the SEC, and it sucked in many saps from BYU A dean at the school said that students may be removed from school for participating. (The news story did not say, but it may be that the reason the students may be removed from school is because they have already proven themselves too dumb to complete school and they want to save the students the embarrassment of flunking out.) 12 Daily Pro offered a 44% return every 12 days, or a 3000% return per year. Not very likely. It is even less likely that these people will get their money back from 12 Daily Pro.

Be careful out there. Your money belongs to you.

Comments Welcome

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