Don’t Open that Email!
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Amrock recently sent their panel appraisers an email informing them a third party company, Fidelity Financial LLC, will be sending an email with a link to obtain their 1099-MISC.
Don’t open that email!
A simple Google search did not reveal any specific results for Fidelity Financial LLC. Who are they? Are they part of Fidelity Investments which is the #1 result on the search? Are they part of Fidelity Financial Group, which is an insurance wholesaler? Where are they located? Who are the principals? How can we contact them?
Since we do not know who this company is or anything about them, are you comfortable with your personal and tax information in their hands? How trustworthy are they? What security measures are in place to protect your personal information? And the bigger question, have you given permission to Amrock to outsource / share your information?
In the email Amrock sent, there was a link to view the email you will be receiving from Fidelity Financial. If there were no concerns before, there sure are concerns now. Fidelity Financial as outsourced this task to another third party company, Track1099 LLC! Take a look at this complete absurdity!
To be fair, there is a “refuse or withdraw consent” option, but the email is to someone at Track1099. Who is Track1099? My business relationship is with Amrock, not Fidelity Financial or Track1099. Why would I communicate with anyone other than Amrock, the company I have a business relationship with?
Amrock does not have the authority to outsource or share your personal information to any third party without your specific consent. Further, no third party has permission to outsource your personal and tax information to another third party. This is yet another EPIC FAIL of Amrock as good ethical and moral decisions continue to be nonexistent.
If you are fine with your personal and tax information being sent and shared with whomever and fine with whomever sending your personal and tax information to another unknown party, simply do nothing.
If you are as outraged as I am and the several others I have discussed this with, contact Amrock and tell them they do not have permission to outsource your personal and tax information and they must provide you a paper 1099-Misc. Make sure you document your communication in writing. Something tells me you will need it.
Now I am all for being comfortable at work and a business casual atmosphere, but the photo on the career page speaks volumes to their lack of professionalism. Tennis shoes, cargo pants, baseball hats and stickers on the laptops do not present a professional image of any organization. If this is what is posted on their website, I would hate to see how people in their office actually dress. I am more professionally dressed with Khakis and a polo shirt measuring homes in 100 degree weather than that photo represents. Heck, in my younger days, I dressed better going out to the clubs. This photo tells me Amrock is not a professional organization and I do not want to be associated with them. What about you?
Fellow appraisers, you have a choice in the people you work with. Choose the ones that will be true partners and those that have the same professionalism, respect and values as you. Life is simply too short for anything less.
By Milton P, Certified Residential Appraiser