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IRS warns taxpayers about child tax credit scams

Officials advise American families who are receiving the advance Child Tax Credit payments about how to identify scammers

HARTFORD, Conn. — The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division is warning people about Child Tax Credit-related scams, which criminals may use to steal money and personal information.

According to the IRS, criminals are taking advantage of American families who started receiving the advance Child Tax Credit payments last week.

“This tax credit is about immediately putting funds in the hands of families, not the fraudsters, who routinely target relief programs as a means to enrich themselves,” said Ramsey E. Covington, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office.

Covington says the following are various ways Americans can identify scammers:

  • The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via e-mail, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information, even information related to the Child Tax Credit.
  • The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent, or threatening messages. Aggressive calls warning taxpayers about a lawsuit or arrest are fake.
  • The IRS will not call taxpayers asking them to provide or verify financial information so they can obtain the monthly Child Tax Credit payments.
  • The IRS will not ask for payment via a gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency.

Essentially, any communication offering assistance to sign up for the Child Tax Credit or to speed up the monthly payments is likely a scam.  

To report suspicious IRS-related phishing and online scams, visit IRS.gov.

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