Child tax credits are coming and so are scammers

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The Child Tax Credit will result in monthly payments to an estimated 39 million households (Getty Images)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Child tax credits will soon be arriving and so will scammers.

From July 15 through December 2021, if you qualified for child tax credit payments through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced it is sending monthly payments direct deposit, paper check or through debit cards. These payments are an advance on the child tax credit, which means eligible people will receive up to half of their child tax credit in these monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 taxes.

“Millions of people in our country were sent into poverty by the pandemic, and this announcement is a welcome relief for many families,” said BBB Regional CEO Jim Hegarty. “However, families should be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of scammers.”

You can go to IRS.gov to see who qualifies, how much you may receive, and how to address any problems. You will also have the option of unenrolling from the advance payments program.

If you are eligible to receive a payment, scammers are using phishing techniques to get information.

“It’s important to remember that the IRS or any government agency will never email, text, call or send you a direct message on a social media platform,” said Denise Groene, BBB of Kansas. “So if you receive one of these communications be cautious, do not respond with any sort of banking information, or personal information about yourself.”

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the scammers will likely use their standard playbook, meaning impostor scams may appear, with con artists pretending to “help” you get your payments earlier, get more money, or commit identity theft.

BBB and the FTC share these tips:

  • Avoid impostor scams – Government agencies like the IRS or Social Security Administration will not call, text, DM or email you.
  • Do not give out any personal information, like social security numbers, bank account information or credit/debit card numbers.
  • Eligibility requirements and payment disbursements are monitored by the IRS only.
  • When someone is requiring payments by gift card, wire transfers or cryptocurrency, it is likely a scam.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Learn more tips on how to avoid scams by reading 10 Steps to avoid scams. If you have been the victim of this or another scam, make others aware by filing a report on BBB.org/ScamTracker.

You can also report scams to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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