Troubleshooter Special: Looking Out for You

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- For 15 years, Troubleshooter Diane Wilson has been looking out for you, warning you about scammers trying to take your money, tackling your problems, and getting your cash back from unscrupulous businesses. In the past two years, Diane has managed to recover more than $3 million in money, goods and services for our viewers.

Click here to see the original Samsung washing machine story.

Click here to see the original asbestos in makeup story.

Click here to see the original story on Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal's battle with lung cancer.

How a Troubleshooter Story is Selected

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In a typical week, Diane Wilson receives at least a hundred emails, social media messages and phone calls from Troubleshooter viewers with problems and complaints. She goes through each one to figure out who and how she can help.

Tips on How to Elevate Your Troubleshooter Case

-Provide a brief but detailed description of your problem
-Send pictures and video that can be helpful in understanding your problem
-Be sure to include your contact information and the contact information for whoever else might be involved in the issue
-Know what can be resolved, and be realistic about it
-Be willing to be on camera

Click here to email Troubleshooter Diane Wilson

Tax and Census Scams

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Tax season is here and it is also a prime opportunity to be taken advantage of tax scammers.

Tips on Avoiding Tax Scams

-Before handing over your tax information get an estimate cost in writing.
-Make sure the person preparing your taxes has a Tax Preparer Identification Number or PTIN
-Check the preparer's qualifications by using the IRS Directory of Federal Return Preparers
-Always make sure your tax preparer signs your return.

Another type of scam to watch out this year, census scams. For the first time, the 2020 Census will be offered online. While that may be convenient for you, it also creates big opportunities for scammers.

Tips on Avoiding Census Scams

-Watch out for phishing emails or phony calls. Scammers are using technology to make it look like they're from the government. Don't disclose your Social Security number, banking or credit card information to someone who says they're working for the 2020 Census.
-If you don't fill out the 2020 Census online, on phone or paper, you will likely receive a visit from a census taker. Be sure to check their official ID.
-If you have any questions about the authenticity of the census taker you can call regional U.S. Census Office in Atlanta at 1-800-424-6974.

Playground Safety

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Click here for the original playground safety story.

In January, I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson investigated the safety of school playgrounds in Wake County. Following that investigation she received emails from Troubleshooter viewers who had concerns about playgrounds at other schools and public playgrounds.
One viewer told us about similar problems with the McDonald Woods Park playground in Cary. Shortly after the Troubleshooter brought it to the attention of Town officials they closed down the slide and started making repairs.



We also received an email from a viewer telling us about problems with a neighborhood playground in Johnston County. One piece of equipment was leaning, and the slide drop-offs are higher than the Consumer Product Safety Commission's recommendation.





Click here for the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Public Playground Safety Handbook.

Click here if you have a playground problem for the Troubleshooter.
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