USAVOICE Update: Now they want your SSN

It looks like the USAVOICE's admins have been working hard to fix the "bugs" they have in their software and improve the facade of their operation. We hear that the ability to delete names and addresses from the reporter's spam list has finally been implemented, and they now they have a W9 form for reporters to fill out and submit back to the bosses for tax information.

Is this a valid attempt at looking like a legitimate company, or is this just another carefully constructed way to steal someone's information? In light of all the red flags we've seen from these guys, I'd have to think long and hard before handing over my social security number in addition to my name, address, phone number and email address.

We'll update more information as we find it.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Personally I am very uncomfortable giving them my Social Security number at this point. Too little too late. I am an editor and am not convinced that anyone will be paid in November. Rick has not answered my emails asking him whether the site made any money this past month. Does anyone know whether the form must be filled out before payment is made - or just by year-end when the company has to report to the IRS what they have paid. I have filed out information for employers in the past but never as an independent contactor.

Anonymous said...

filled out not filed out. sorry.

Anonymous said...

Your retorts are becoming contradictory. In your "Fights Back" post, you state the company isn't legit because they haven't asked anyone to fill out any IRS paperwork, and now that they are you're saying they aren't legit. This is confusing enough as it is.. pick a side and stick to it.

The Judge said...

Pay attention, son:

The "Fights Back" post was written a day or so before I recieved information that USAVOICE had started obtaining 10-99's for its employees. Why they waited three months to do this I don't know. But as soon as the information was leaked, I posted an update.

I said that based on all of the information collected, I wouldnt trust this organization as far as I could throw them.

And now that there is all these questions that people have about the legitimacy of the site and the connections they have to convicted scam artists, they want to start collecting your Social Security Number. Would YOU give them your number in light of everything you've read about them?

Payday for USAVOICE employees for the month of October is supposed to be in 3 days. We'll see what happens on the 10th.

I've picked a side. Have you?

Anonymous said...

Judge, thanks! This site is one of the few places to share info. No one at USA Voice is answering emails - even about the W9 form. My bet is that they know people are spooked and won't fill out the form (which my tax accountant's office says is necessary in order to get paid).
The following may be helpful for people who want to get paid but are worried about providing their SSN in light of the concerns about USA Voice's legitimacy:
As an independent contractor you can apply for an EIN - employer identification number - that can be used instead of your SSN.
Go to the IRS website:

https://sa.www4.irs.gov/sa_vign/newFormSS4.do

You will get a number issued immediately. Use that number on the W9 form in your USA Voice Back Office. I sent a copy of the completed form as an email but plan to mail in a hard copy to the Washington DC office.

Anonymous said...

Oops, the entire link to the IRS site didn't print. The form is SS-4 Federal ID/EIN.

Go to http://www.irs.gov

On the lefthand side, click on the link that reads: Online EIN Application.
Near the bottom of the explanations page that appears is a link: Apply ONLINE NOW.

Anonymous said...

Nov. 10 payday. But no check and no "check is in the mail" email from Rick despite repeated attempts to find out from him what is going on.

Reporters and Editors should go to their Back Offices - on the Profile page you can now change your log-in password. You will also see that you have a goal of writing 60 stories for the month! Another phantom feature that no one knows what it means.

But the phone number on the Editor's profile is finally saved correctly! Small progress. Too bad in the new instructions on photos they didn't mention that pics must be 92 (w) X 69 (h) pixels or people will be decapitated.

Did anyone ever hear anything about the W9 other than just finding it in the Back Office? Must be magic.

Group emails would save so much frustration but then that would mean actually putting something in writing that you might have to stand by later.

Anonymous said...

The 60 Story Goal thing is gone now. Got an email back from Rick saying it was being taken down and it was for testing only. Also waiting on word from him on pay.

The Judge said...

So they STILL havent paid journalists for their work?

Amazing.

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