Beware of scammers looking to help with child tax credit advance

Crime

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP)– The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning consumers about scammers looking to grab their child tax credit.

Eligible families will be receiving monthly payments from the government from July 15 through December 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will send these monthly payments directly to people through direct deposit, paper checks, or debit cards. Unlike economic impact payments, these payments are an advance on families’ child tax credit. People who are eligible will get up to half of their child tax credit in these monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 taxes.

The FTC wants people to be prepared for calls, emails, texts, and even social media, offering to help you apply for benefits, ways to get the money quicker or get you more money. According to the IRS:

  • Only the IRS will be sending these payments. Anyone trying to “help” you get your child tax credit is really after your money.
  • The government will NEVER call, text, email, or DM you out of the blue, asking for money or information. Keep your money — and your Social Security, bank account, debit and credit card numbers — to yourself.
  • No government agency will ever demand that you pay by gift card, wire transfer through companies like Money Gram or Western Union, or cryptocurrency. That’s a scam, every time.

If you qualify for payments, which depends, in part, on how much you make, you’ll get them on about the 15th of each month, automatically, without having to do anything. The IRS is working to get online systems set up on its webpage and make sure all questions get answered. Go to IRS.gov for the latest info on who qualifies, how much you’ll get, and how to address any problems you might run into.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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