Another IRS scam is looming: Watch out for the child tax credit scam

For the past few months, we’ve discussed several IRS tax scams that we felt you should be aware of. Unfortunately, this one, there’s a new one making the rounds. The IRS is now warning taxpayers of child tax credit scammers.

Spotting fraud

The IRS reports that criminals are using the child tax credit as a means of stealing individuals personal and financial information. In a July 20 post on the IRS website, the agency notes that while millions of American families started to receive their advance payments on July 15, criminals have already started to devise ways to take advantage of victims.

According to the press announcement, “Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a variety of phone, e-mail, text message and social media scams targeting families eligible for the credit. Any communication offering assistance to sign up for the Child Tax Credit or to speed up the monthly payments is likely a scam. When receiving unsolicited calls or messages, taxpayers should not provide personal information, click on links, or open attachments as this may lead to money loss, tax-related fraud, and identity theft.”

The agency further reminds taxpayers that the IRS does not initiate contact with people via email, by phone, by text, or through social media channels. Additionally, the IRS will not initiate contact to “verify” your personal information, and employees will not contact you to ask you to “verify” your full name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, or social security number.  The agency does not leave pre-recorded messages via voicemail, and if you receive a call from someone who is being overly aggressive and threatening that you’ll be arrested, sued, or otherwise penalized if you don’t provide your information, you should see this as being a big red flag.

If callers indicate you need to make an additional tax payment before you can receive the child tax credit, and they demand you do so immediately via prepaid gift card, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer, this is another red flag.

In closing

Scam artists are always looking for ways to steal people’s personal and financial information.  Consequently, you’ll want to be alert and aware that criminals will try to use every tactic they can to obtain yours. For more information about IRS, tax, and child tax credit scams, be sure to visit the IRS website.