Intuit: “Our fraud fights racism”

Apparently, ripping off Black people with the Freefile scam is a form of reparations.

Cory Doctorow
9 min readSep 27


A halftone-mapped version of the IRS 1040 individual tax return form. Superimposed on it is a cartoon of a white man who is giving the finger and smiling broadly. On one lapel, the man wears a badge with the Intuit Turbotax logo. On the other lapel, he wears a badge with a raised Black Lives Matter fist.

Tonight (September 27), I’ll be at Chevalier’s Books in Los Angeles with Brian Merchant for a joint launch for my new book The Internet Con and his new book, Blood in the Machine. On October 2, I’ll be in Boise to host an event with VE Schwab.

Today’s key concept is “predatory inclusion”: “a process wherein lenders and financial actors offer needed services to Black households but on exploitative terms that limit or eliminate their long-term benefits”:

Perhaps you recall predatory inclusion from the Great Financial Crisis, when predatory subprime mortgages with deceptive teaser rates were foisted on Black homeowners (who were eligible for better mortgages), resulting in a wave of Black home theft in the foreclosure crisis:

Before these loans blew up, they were styled as a means of creating Black intergenerational wealth through housing speculation. They turned out to be a way to suck up Black families’ savings before rendering them homeless and forcing them into houses owned by the Wall Street slumlords who bought all the housing stock the Great Financial Crisis put on the market:

That was just an update on an old con: the “home sale contract,” invented by loan-sharks who capitalized on redlining to rip off Black families. Back when banks and the US government colluded to deny mortgages to Black households, sleazy lenders created the “contract loan,” which worked like a mortgage, but if you were late on a single payment, the lender could seize and sell your home and not pay you a dime — even if the house was 99% paid for:

Usurers and con-artists love to style themselves as anti-racists, seeking to “close the racial wealth gap.” The payday lending industry — whose triple-digit…