After we noticed the increasing rates of crypto crimes in 2021, the Federal Trade Commission has now flagged a new wave of scams in 2022.
The FTC, in its recent notification, has warned about the new methods crypto scammers have taken up to swindle innocent people. According to the report, they are now impersonating government officials, law enforcement, and other utility companies to rob people using cryptocurrencies.
How do they execute the scam?
Be it crypto or the money in your regular saving accounts, the scammers can take up the most traditional way to phish you. These hoaxers get your money by acting as authentic members of the above-mentioned agencies or even an online beloved. You can even get congratulatory messages for winning a lottery.
Once they will get a hook on you, they will ask you to withdraw from your accounts and deposit it in a crypto ATM.
You will be provided with a QR code, that you will be further asked to scan.
This QR code, as stated by the FTC, comes with its address embedded in it. Once you buy the cryptocurrency and scan the given code, your money gets transferred to their accounts. This is how the scam works.
Beware of the “rug pulls”
These online scams are rapidly taking place at ever-increasing rates. However, according to the FTC, the fraudulent act that collected the most money last year was the “rug pull”.
In this scam, a new crypto developer entices investors to put their money into a project like a new currency. Once they successfully raise enough money, the developer suddenly closes the shop and vanishes with investors’ money.
According to Chainalysis, once again the number of scams was among the largest of crypto-related crimes. These were massive, taking over $7.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency from sufferers across the globe.
This shows an 81% hike against Chainalysis’s 2020 notes. Even the blockchain data platform has decided to plan a particular review in February entitled 2022 Crypto-related Crime Report.
What you must know?
The most important thing that you should be aware of is that nobody from the government, law enforcement, or companies will ever ask you to pay through cryptocurrency. And if someone does so, it’s likely to scam you in almost all cases.
Do not fall for such baits. If you ever happen to get a call, message, or mail like this, please report it ASAP. Or just reach out to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Child Tax Credit Money
For 36 million families, January would have been the first month since last year without a Child Tax Credit check. Rather, they will get a Letter 6419 IRS Alert through the mail.
The letter may seem like an accountancy junk mail. Yet, it could bring money to you and your family.
Half of your owed money through advance payments
Under the American Rescue Plan, eligible families get a tax credit for 17-year-old or younger children. They received an advance every month with the first check issued on July 15.
Recently President Biden suggested extending these payments. But, his proposals were snubbed by the Senates. Therefore, the last payments were made in mid-December.
The average payment made was $444. However, it was only about half the tax credit gained. Additionally, there were no payments issued for half of the year. Thus, most families still owe their tax credit money to them, which could result in a refund.
How can you use Letter 6419?
You can use IRS Letter 6419 to file taxes and save on the Child Tax Credit.
The letter will project the number of advance payments received by a family in 2021 into dollars. Moreover, it will showcase the number of children on whom the advance payments had been calculated.
These figures by the IRS, in most cases, are error-free. However, to ensure safety on your part, you can check your bank statements to match the government’s records. This, you can easily do with the help of IRS’s Child Tax Credit Update Portal.
File your tax even on low income
Some families may not feel like filing a tax return because of their low income. However, it is advisable by the IRS that you must file a tax return to get a refund on the Child Tax Credit money you owe to them.
Big Lender Cancels Student Loan Debt
Took a student loan? This news may disappoint you.
One of the biggest student loan companies, Navient, has come to an agreement with attorneys from 39 states to reimburse borrowers. The company, under the terms of the settlement, is dropping loans to almost 66,000 borrowers. Moreover, it is paying $95 million in return. The total price tag for this agreement is $1.85 billion.
The loan cancellation for students is about $1.7 billion. Navient will pay the remaining $95 million in $260 payments to 350,000 federal borrowers that have been placed in the long-term forbearance programs.
The trap of forbearance
The main charges against Navient are that it drove the borrowers into a forbearance loan, while they were meant for short-term measures.
A forbearance loan gives borrowers the convenience of stopping making payments for up to 12 months. However, the interest keeps on multiplying during that period.
This makes borrowers in forbearance pay more than the conventional payment. You can also pay your student loan based on income.
The delayed decision
Initially, the Obama administration took action against Navient. In fact, a settlement was on its verge. However, negotiations stopped after the 2016 elections.
The Trump administration, basically, overlooked Navient. After which, attorney generals for Illinois and Washington filed a suit against the loan company. Later on more states joined in the legal action.
Jim Hood, Mississippi Attorney General told the New York Times when Mississippi joined the suit in July, “There is a growing concern among myself and state attorneys general regarding this.” he showed his concern that the federal government would not only lose interest in holding student loan servicers like Navient accountable but that it would actively look for ways to shut down state enforcement actions against Navient and other student loan servicers.
What you should be aware of?
Navient originally discarded all the legal suits by saying that they are not responsible for borrowers’ wrong decisions.
Quoting directly as written by Navient in a court filing according to the New York Times, “There shouldn’t be any expectation that the servicer will ‘act in the welfare of the consumer.”
It further added in recent news, “The loans were initiated largely between 2002 and 2010, which later defaulted and charged off.” They will notify the influenced borrowers soon after the agreement receives final court approvals.