March , 2019

Email This Post Email This Post


From the Better Business Bureau



CHICAGO, IL -  Becoming a victim of a “too good to be true offer” does not necessarily mean that all is lost. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) is aware that some taxpayers may have experienced losses in certain investment arrangements discovered to be criminally fraudulent. Often these investments turn out to be “Ponzi Schemes” where investors lose because there are no real profits to be had.


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a revenue procedure that provides an optional safe harbor treatment for taxpayers who experienced losses in certain investment arrangements discovered to be criminally fraudulent. It also describes how the IRS will treat a return that claims a deduction for such a loss but does not use the safe harbor treatment as described in this revenue procedure. Taxpayers claiming a loss are instructed to mark “Revenue Procedure 2009-20” at the top of the Form 4684.


“It is devastating when someone falls victim to a fraudulent investment scheme,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is important to be proactive before making a decision, but also to make sure that everything in your power is done to clean up the damage after.”


The BBB offers these tips for someone looking for a legitimate investment.

  • Don’t invest with someone just because your friends/colleagues/associates do. There’s no guarantee that they’ve done their homework about an investment. Furthermore, if the seller is part of that group, it’s likely everyone trusts this person and subsequently do not check into their past or their investments.
  • Be aware of anyone who claims to be able to bring back a return above the market rate. This promise of a large return is alluring, but a red flag that something is not right. Do not trust anyone who claims to have a different or “special” way of making things happen.
  • Find out as much as you can. Investing your hard earned money is not something you should take lightly. Ask questions and find out fully where you are putting your money. Be open to references as well doing your own research. Check out Business Reviews with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Get as much information as possible in writing. Be sure to get details of the offer, names of validating organizations, the organization’s own research documentation, and copies of any contracts you will be asked to sign.
  • Consult an unbiased third party. Look for an unconnected broker or licensed financial advisor before investing, research the advisor or broker through business reviews at www.bbb.org


For additional consumer safety tips, visit www.bbb.org

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

Recent Posts