Child tax credit scams: IRS warns thieves could seek to cash
Child tax credit payments have been sent to tens of millions of American families. The process spawns crooks looking to profit – literally – from the process.
The IRS is warning people against scammers targeting families who receive child tax credit payments. Monthly payments of up to $ 300 per child were first distributed in July and will last until December.
The extra monthly money is “bait” for thieves, according to the IRS.
“Be on the lookout for criminals who ask you, over the phone, email, text – or even on social media, to verify your information so you can get child tax credit advance payments,” the IRS. “Remember, the IRS does not contact taxpayers through email, text, or social media channels to request personal or financial information.”
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The IRS does not normally establish contact with taxpayers by email. Do not respond to an email from someone claiming to be from the IRS, as the IRS email address could be spoofed or forged. IRS emails will end with IRS.gov.
- The agency does not send text messages or contact people through social networks. Scammers will impersonate legitimate government agents and agencies on social media and attempt to get in touch with taxpayers.
- When the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, the first contact is normally by letter issued by the US Postal Service. Debt relief companies mail out unsolicited tax debt relief offers. Scammers will often claim that they have already notified the taxpayer through US Mail.
- In some cases, the IRS sends a letter or written notice to a taxpayer in advance, but not always. Taxpayers can search for IRS notices by visiting Understanding your IRS notice or letter. Not all IRS notices are searchable on this site, and just because someone is referring to an IRS notice by email, phone call, text or social media does not mean that the request is. legitimate.
Do you think you’ve been scammed? You can read more about reporting here.