Child Tax Credit

$3000/$3600 Child Tax Credit: what are the IRS warnings about payment scams?

The rollout of the first payments on July 15 has opened the door for scammers to impersonate the IRS.

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$3000/$3600 Child Tax Credit: what are the IRS warnings about payment scams?
Kevin Lamarque Reuters

It has been 11 days since the first round of Child tax Credits have been sent out across the US but already people under threat from those trying to steal data and money. With millions of people receiving the credit, a large new market has opened for scammers to exploit.

And the IRS are well aware and have set about informing taxpayers about the risk and what signs to look for.

What scams are the IRS warning about?

The organisation published a statement addressing the problem with scammers.

"Cyber criminals use every opportunity to try to scam people out of money," the agency said, "with the Advance Payments of the Child Tax Credit going out to eligible taxpayers, the IRS warns folks to be aware that thieves may use these payments as bait."

The statement says the IRS will never:

  • contact taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information,
  • leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages,
  • ask for payment in the form of giftcards, wire transfers or cryptocurrency.

It goes on to reiterate that the informtation used for Child tax Credit eligibility is gathered from either your 2020 or 2019 tax return or the IRS website for non-filers. The IRS will never need information for your credit from a phone call.

Apart from non-filers, the average family will not need to take nay action to receive the credit. Therefore, if you have people enquiring by phone or email then the IRS recommends you ignore it and report it.

The organisation provides two links, one to a page for reporting scams and one for help with the Child Tax Credit.