It is sad, but when there is a chance to prey on people, there is always someone that takes that opportunity. This time it is a number of scams where fraudsters are using the advance Child Tax Credits to try to steal your personal information and money. (For our latest post on the advance Child Tax Credits, click here.)
The IRS recently warned taxpayers to watch out for phone calls, emails, text messages and social media messages that are targeting families eligible for the advance credits. In essence, any communication that offers to help you sign up for the credits or expedite monthly payments is a scam. Do not provide your personal information or social security numbers to anyone who calls, or open attachments or click on links in emails, text messages or posts on social media. It can quickly lead to tax-related fraud, identity theft or computer issues, all of which can be difficult to recover from and even devastating.
“Criminals look at these child tax credit payments as a way to steal from people,” said IRS – Criminal Investigation special agent in charge Albert Childress, according to the Los Alamos Daily Post. “Please don’t reply to any emails or text messages claiming to be from the IRS and don’t share any personal information over the phone. We don’t want anyone to be victimized by scam artists.”
Keep in mind that the IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text messages or social media – EVER. They also don’t leave threatening messages, or ones talking about lawsuits or impending arrests, on your voicemail. And they will never ask you to provide financial information on the phone or ask for payment via wire transfer, cryptocurrency or gift card either. Please share this with your friends and family so they don’t fall for these scams either.