• Report: #835442

Complaint Review: Link and Associates

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  • Submitted: Tue, February 07, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, September 27, 2012

  • Reported By: Anonymous — Raleigh North Carolina United States of America
Link and Associates
1 World Trade Center, Suite 800 Long Beach, California United States of America

Link and Associates We Help Tax, Scott Link, Kristina Link, Tim Nelson Tax Resolution Scam took $3,500 from me Long Beach, California

*Author of original report: Link and Associates are Liars and Thieves!!!!!

*Consumer Comment: Refund...Haha!

*Consumer Comment: Mailings

*Author of original report: OTHERS HAVE BEEN SCAMMED!!!!!

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: OVER 10,000+ CLIENTS WITH ONLY THIS ONE COMPLAINT. SCAM? I THINK NOT!

*Author of original report: FALSE REBUTTAL FROM LINK AND ASSOCIATES

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: 100% REFUND HISTORY

*Author of original report: LINK AND ASSOCIATES - TAX SCAM - FALSE INFORMATION - NO BLACKMAIL

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: BLACKMAIL THREAT ATTEMPT BY THIS CLIENT

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SCAM ALERT - This is the story of Link & Associates.
 
One year ago, I received a letter from the IRS threatening to Levy my bank account.  I was desperate so I answered a radio ad for tax debt settlement.  The ad sounded good.  I was connected by a secondary service to Link & Associates.  I spoke with Tim Nelson, a well-spoken "case manager".  He said that they could reduce my tax debt from 40K to 12K (plus their fee of $3,450). 

They sent me a very professional looking questionnaire and papers to sign. Tim assured me that I would be protected from levy, liens and the settlement would be accepted by the IRS within a few months.  Strangely enough, Tim would only contact me on the phone and not make any guarantees over e-mail.  I filled out the paperwork and signed the papers (stupid me).  I knew it was a risk, but I was desperate.  I let them draft my bank account in the amount of $500 a month. 

As the weeks went on, I would check in with Tim about my case.  He would grow more and more evasive with direct questioning about my case.  He also told me not to contact the IRS (warning flag).  He said it might mess up the deal.  I should have known then, but I am a trusting guy and he was very convincing.  He assured me that everything was under control. 

So six months pass and I get levied by the IRS.  I was absolutely shocked and sickened!  Thank God, the IRS didnt levy me a day sooner or they would have gotten everything I own.  This absolutely stressed me out.  Can you imagine having a good chunk of your money taken when you are promised that it wouldnt happen?  I called Tim about it and he said , It was the IRS that levied you.  I thought, REALLY?!  Are you seriously thinking I dont know that?!  I already knew that,
of course!  That was the only information he had, like he was clueless.  He then asked me to get him the order of levy from my bank and some other irrelevant information.  He acted like he was going to try to get the funds returned, but that never happened. 

I realized that they were powerless in this scenario and that scared me.  It also scared me that I was being misled.  Against Tims advice, I contacted the IRS to see what was going on.  The IRS representative told me that Link & Associates had only contacted them one time when I signed up with them to check what my debt amount was.  I was floored!!!  Tim had told me that they had multiple correspondences with the IRS.  So this makes the third time that things went way wrong.  I was in too deep so I was hoping and praying that this would turn out good. 

A few weeks pass and I contact the IRS again.  They tell me that a payment agreement has been set up for me.  I asked what the total balance was and they told me 40K.  So basically, all they did was set up a payment plan for the original amount I owed.  About this same time, my final payment to Link & Associates was withdrawn from my account.  How convenient, huh?  A couple of weeks later, I get a notice of Lien on my property. 

This means that everything I own will have a lien attached to it.  It also goes on my credit report.  It was a horrible blow to me.  I have been struggling to improve my credit score so I could buy a house for my family and this just blew it out of the water.  I called Tim about it in disbelief.  He said, This happened before I signed up with them.  Not true.  I had received the first notice of lien 10 months after I signed with them.  I called these guys to avoid this. 

So, at this point, it has been a full year, I have fully paid for their services ($3,450) and all they had done was get me levied, a lien on my property and credit report, and set up a payment plan with NO settlement.  I could have done this all myself easily, working directly with the IRS and not been levied or spent the $3,450 for their services.  Wow, it just blows my mind how people can take advantage of desperate, hardworking people with families. 

Moral of the story: 
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Of course, I checked them out online before I signed with them and they had no BBB complaints (at the time).  Now they have multiple.  You can see the responses to complaints are vengeful and heartless.  Do not fall victim to this scam.  These people are vultures in the truest sense of the word.  I have lost so many nights of sleep worrying about this and the nightmare has come true.  Don't let this happen to you!!!!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/07/2012 02:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Link-and-Associates/Long-Beach-California-90831/Link-and-Associates-We-Help-Tax-Scott-Link-Kristina-Link-Tim-Nelson-Tax-Resolution-Scam-835442. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
4Author 2Consumer 3Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Link and Associates are Liars and Thieves!!!!!

AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

During the past year I have have had a website dedicated to telling others of my NIGHTMARE experience with link and Associates.  Through that website and other complaint boards I have had at least 50 people telling me of their horrible experiences with link and Associates.  These poor people tell me of Link taking $3,000 - $10,000 from each of their victims.  Being that I had the same experience as these people I really feel bad for them.  I can take great pleasure, however in knowing that I have prevented many people from furthering their nightmare and have costed link much more money than he took from me!  link is EVIL and takes desperate peoples money with NO REMORSE.  Here is a link to other peoples recent complaints.  If you are reading this as a new link customer, DO NOT CALL THEM, THEY WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY!!!

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#2 Consumer Comment

Refund...Haha!

AUTHOR: chanel - ()

I hired this company 3 years ago and they promised they could set up an agreement with the IRS on my behalf. Initially I was working with John Davis who did absolutely nothing and then he went our on Sick (supposedly) leave. Then I spoke with Frank Lee who stated they were just awaiting a response from the IRS and then I heard nothing.

Finally, I got Scott Link who said they would have a decision in 30 days and guess what? 30 days have been in gone and still nothing. Now I can't even get them to answer my calls and I recently contacted the IRS who informed me that Link and Associated did not have the power to set up settlement on my behalf and that nothing has been done on my account. All I am asking is for my $4000 back that they took from me. 

If anyone know of a class action suit being filed against this company please let me know. Thanks.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Mailings

AUTHOR: Seriously sickened - (United States of America)

Let me start off with this ---  any company that refers to their client as a 'cheap sake' regardless of the reason would lose a considerable amount of credibility in my eyes. Not that Link and Assoc. would have had it anyway.

However, this is not what I am writing about.  I am writing to say that I was one of the many (and I am positive that it was not a handful as they claim!) of people who received a letter from Link and Associates that had the amount I owed my state plastered in capital, bold letters across the front! Ironically enough, I received it on the same date that they claim to have withdrawn this asinine practice. I was mortified when the mailman handed me my mail and I saw it there on top of the pile. I knew immediately that it came from one of those vulture companies that claim to help you (but in essence are only lining their own pockets) because the IRS would NEVER send out that kind of mailing!

Here's what I wonder... what kind of marketing stupidity does it take to think that writing what a person owes the government on the front of a letter will actually help in gaining them clients? Are these the stupid people that you want working for you??? What kind of people are so cold and callous that they would actual try to use a scare tactic such as this to get you to call. What complete idiots think that embarrassing someone by publicly displaying their private information is okay?  One would only assume, the same type that would rip off innocent people regardless of their obvious troubles.

I believe every word Nick wrote and none of what was written by Link and Associates. At this point I am pondering contacting Nick and filing a class action suit. 

To Link and Associates... do not bother with a rebuttal as your credibility can and will never be restored... since you cannot restore what was never there! Shame on you!

To all others:  The IRS is not the way it was in years gone by... they only want their money, which is fair. They are not there to put you further in debt or threaten you (honestly, how far would that get them). There are laws that even the government must follow. They are willing to work out a payment plan with you and help you figure out the best way to pay your debt. You may unfortunately encounter a person that is not as helpful as they could be. In that case ask to speak to someone else, or hang up and call back again. Also, understand that they will not lower their penalties or interest rate and in most states will need to be paid off within the SOL period (even they can't collect once that runs out [be aware that some states like VA do not have a statue] so depending on how long it is your payments will vary). Waring this does not mean that you should ignore them... they will put a lien on your bank account and your property.

Bottom line... don't react...keep calm, research on the internet and call the IRS YOURSELF!

Link and Associates... one thing...what goes around, comes around.  I'll be watching.





 
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#4 Author of original report

OTHERS HAVE BEEN SCAMMED!!!!!

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

I am currently talking with multiple people who have responded to this complaint.  Their stories are tragic, just like mine.  If you do a few Google searches for Link and Associates Long Beach.  You will see other complaints than mine.  The fact is that most people don't know how to post complaints or it is too complicated.  If you have been taken advantage of, I encourage you to do the right thing and warn others to prevent them from getting hurt.  Here is proof that there are other complaints.  Follow these "links" Tax Resolution Blog, BBB.  These are some of the ones I could find.  Again, I am talking with others who have been recently scammed.

P.S.  I don't need luck

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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

OVER 10,000+ CLIENTS WITH ONLY THIS ONE COMPLAINT. SCAM? I THINK NOT!

AUTHOR: Wehelptax - (United States of America)

Good luck.
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#6 Author of original report

FALSE REBUTTAL FROM LINK AND ASSOCIATES

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

FALSE   FALSE    FALSE.  I am talking with others who were RECENTLY scammed by link and associates and are sick to their stomachs.  Just like I was.  It is the worst feeling in the world.   If you have been scammed by these people, you can e-mail me at nick@deckraleighnc.com for advice.

LIE: scott link said I sent him a slanderous fax.  I don't even own a fax machine.  Who owns a fax machine anymore?

THE FACT IS, THEY GUARANTEED ME THAT I WAS PROTECTED FROM LIENS AND LEVY.  THIS IS WHY I SIGNED UP WITH THEM.  I was in a desperate situation and they took advantage by VERBALLY GUARANTEEING me that I was protected from collection activity (also a 12K plus their fee settlement).  This is how they got me to sign a contract.  This companies' scam is based on the victims not having much time to make a decision and signing a contract, trusting that the company will do what they say.  I got levied and liened while under their "protection".   That is a fact Jack.  When Scott Link said ", I was simply unhappy with the completed service because he believes he could have achieved the same thing with a cheaper attorney, or anybody else".  That is another blatant lie, I never said that.  As a matter of fact, scott would not return my calls because he knew I was unhappy with their lack of service.  I was unhappy with their services because they DID NOT DO WHAT THEY SAID THEY WERE GOING TO DO.  Here is the bottom line.....  ONLY USE A COMPANY WHERE YOU CAN GO INTO THEIR OFFICE AND TALK TO THEM.  WHO KNOWS WHERE THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY ARE?  DON'T GIVE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY TO SOMEONE YOU HAVE NEVER MET OR SEEN.  $3,500 was a lot of money for me to throw away. 
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#7 REBUTTAL Owner of company

100% REFUND HISTORY

AUTHOR: Wehelptax - (United States of America)

Fact 1: After personally reviewing our call logs, no such statement was found. Further, this directly conflicts with what is statement in your signed agreement on file..

FACT 2:  Penalty (not interest) was reduced when setting up your installment agreement for long term savings. We suggest you consult a professional who can properly translate your paperwork before you make such claims. We also have a Penalty Abatement draft on file for the additional amounts and years that you had originally failed to disclose.

FACT 3:  After personally reviewing our call logs, no such statement was found. Further, this directly conflicts with what is statement in your signed agreement on file..  You and you alone are responsible for your tax debt, lien, and family stress. At the end of the day we helped you, you are in a much better position than you were before the call. 

FACT 4:  You mention "faxes",  we just recently received a fax from your hometown with slanderous threats. You know what what said and what you have done, no need to argue this.

FACT 5: This is a ridiculous statement. We're registered with the IRS directly in order to negotiate. Here is a list of agents that we had directly negotiated with on your behalf:
Mr. Nazor ID# 1000160159
Mrs. Jones ID# 1000201055
Mrs. Uren ID# 1000676638
Mr. Ross ID# 01499225
Mr. Pruitt ID#0201342
Mr. Williams ID#0150715
Mrs. Mcgee ID#0676504

FACT 6:  Regardless, you received help. The only other case complaint that we have we had given 100% of that clients money back. We did this because we couldn't help them with their tax protesting campaign against the IRS. We have no reason to hold onto somebody's hard earned money unless we can help. In your case, we performed the work, paid our attorney's to do so, and accomplished above par results given your scenario. You still have your assets and are now compliant with the IRS. 

FACT 6: The other stated forum that you imply we have other complaints on is a blatant lie. These complaints are statements from people unhappy with our advertising practices and not from actual paid clients. You're REACHING here..
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#8 Author of original report

LINK AND ASSOCIATES - TAX SCAM - FALSE INFORMATION - NO BLACKMAIL

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

Here are the FACTS:

Fact 1: Tim Nelson, of Link and Associates, verbally guaranteed me that I would not be levied many times.  THAT IS WHY I SIGNED WITH THEM.  I have at least 30 audio files to prove this.  I did end up getting levied while under their protection.   They also verbally guaranteed me that they could reduce my tax debt by 20K. That never happened either.  That is how the scam works; they fool you into a bogus contract that only protects them. FACT 2:  They didnt save me any penalties.  They basically set up a payment plan for the original tax debt, which I could have done myself.  FACT 3:  They assured me I would not receive a tax lien.  I was liened 6 months later.  This was one of the main reasons I reached out to them, to prevent this.  This was a HUGE blow to my credit.  Now for 10 years, at least, I will not be approved for a house loan.  HORRIBLE for my dream of buying a house for my family.  FACT 4:  There were no threating calls or faxes.  I did send them an e-mail in which I was seeking either the service I paid for, my money back for no service, or I was going to post a review on the BBB.  I said to them , I am a good person and I dont want to do this, but they, in true class, avoided my request for a response.  I gave them a month to respond and they didnt.  I tried to call Scott Link two more times to let him explain himself.  Scott avoided the calls.  At that point I realized that he had what he wanted, my money and he didnt care about me.   I do not like posting negative things, but I had to do it for the others out there who are being hurt by these people.  They could have avoided this, but the only thing they care about is getting your money, and the next guys money, and so on.  FACT 5: THEY DID NOT TRY TO SETTLE WITH THE IRS.  They probably dont even have lawyers.  Just case managers like Tim Nelson.   FACT 6:  There has been no blackmail.  I am simply stating the facts.  I know I am not getting my money back.  It is now about getting the word out about Link and Associates.  You can check out complaintsboard.com to SEE OTHERS IN THE SAME SITUATION AND ARE RESPONDING TO THE REVIEWS.  You can post a complaint there.  If you have been taken advantage of, please contact the California Attorney General and leave a review here on the BBB.  HELP ME PREVENT OTHERS FROM GETTING HURT.
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#9 REBUTTAL Owner of company

BLACKMAIL THREAT ATTEMPT BY THIS CLIENT

AUTHOR: Wehelptax - (United States of America)

Link & Associateswww.wehelptax.com
NO SCAM ALERT, COMPANY IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE BBB IN TAX RELIEF

Two sides to every story...

Hello, my name is Scott Link, I represent Link & Associates as a family owned and operated business. I know that it can sometimes be easy for some readers to automatically assume complaints include all of the important facts or that corporations can be (as some believe) a faceless, heartless entity. I just wanted to take a moment to assure you that this is not the case with Link & Associates. We take pride in our reputation, work, and results that have helped thousands of people with their tax debt.

We have only "1" other compliant from a client to date, we refunded 100% of their fee because their case was beyond our scope of service (tax protesting group). Unfortunately, they complained before discussing with management. With the damage already done, we still decided to do the right thing. If people cannot benefit from our service then we have no reason to take their money. It is our goal to communicate properly and offer a clear case outline to our prospective clients, as stated in our agreement before hire. We don't require fee's to be paid up-front, a true indicator of our clients best interest at heart. 

CASE FACTS ID#10-1530X211:
According to our records, this client was substantially late in returning numerously requested documentation needed in order to resolve his case in a timely fashion. He also failed to disclose approximately $10,000.00 more in IRS debt, with multiple years involved. He demanded that we include amounts owed for 2010 tax year before it was even due or filed. He had continuously threatened our employees if he didn't like what was said. He was also generally hard to work with, ordering us around as if we were his children rather than a professional service. We soon came to the realization that this client was almost certainly hiding something from us and/or the IRS that he didn't want exposed before completing his case work. He would consistently demand unrealistic deadlines (regardless of what the IRS had scheduled) while not complying with our requests. Demanding case completion, "OR ELSE" was a common threat while in the same conversation, "I'm waiting for 1099's to be sent from contracts" was a common stall tactic. 

RESOLUTION:
Link & Associates had brought this client into compliance from over six years of collections. We ultimately stopped seizure from clients property and halted pending levy action. We had successfully negotiated an Installment Agreement with the IRS as well as a reduction in the originally stated amount owed. We feel that this was a great outcome for any non-hardship case, especially for a case that was not in compliance for such a long period of time. For prospective clients who would like to see proof of our work, Link & Associates will gladly provide a copy of case ID#10-1530X211 (and others) that were successfully negotiated.

Please understand that this was NOT an Offer In Compromise, hardship (settle for a fraction of what is owed) case. This was a compliance/Penalty Abatement case based on the IRS Reasonable Cause Provision. These type of cases are based on the information provided by our clients. Personal information regarding client(s) will not be released, only proof of performance with specifically referenced case ID will be provided. 

PENDING CASE WORK, ID#10-1530X211:
Penalty Abatement paperwork (Penalty $4,503.21) with 2010 tax year and additional amount owed to IRS has been completed and is in client file. Case on hold due to client threats. 

THE REAL STORY:
In a recent phone conversation client had stated that he is simply unhappy with the completed service because he believes he could have achieved the same thing with a cheaper attorney, or anybody else. Our public response to this is; we price match any reputable attorney in the industry as long as they meat or beat our BBB rating. We're more than competitive when it comes to pricing.

COMPLAINANT INFORMATION:
If you read between the lines in this complaint you can see that this person lightly touches on a very important part of this story, his admittance to knowing what he was paying for before hiring us to do the job (before deciding to be a cheapskate):

"I filled out the paperwork and signed the papers (stupid me)."  

We allowed this client to make small installments as a "pay as you go" option. He could have stopped paying us at any point if he were ever truly unhappy with our performance...

BEFORE WE TAKE ON NEW CASES:
New clients are required to sign a contractual agreement with our company before moving forward with us. In this agreement we clearly outline our roll in negotiating on your behalf, our refund policy, timeline, case variables, as well as performance requirements are all clearly outlined.

OTHER:
It should be noted that we have a handful of complaints from people (not clients) upset that we sent them an advertising mailer. We have since stopped this form of advertising.
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