IRS warns people not to fall for child tax credit scams

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is doubling down on warnings about the possibility of child tax credit scams.

#IRS reminder: Be alert to criminals that ask by phone, email, text or on social media to verify your information claiming it’s needed to get advance #ChildTaxCredit payments. http://irs.gov/childtaxcredit20,” the IRS tweeted Thursday.

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“The #IRS Identity Theft Central gives taxpayers, #taxpros and businesses information on how to report identity theft and how to protect themselves against scams. Visit http://irs.gov/identitytheft  #TaxSecurity,” the agency said in another tweet Thursday.

The IRS started sending child tax credit payments to parents last week, part of a coronavirus stimulus package that President BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries FDA aims to give full approval to Pfizer vaccine by Labor Day: report Overnight Defense: Police officer killed in violence outside Pentagon | Biden officials back repeal of Iraq War authorization | NSC pushed to oversee 'Havana Syndrome' response MORE enacted in March. Families who are eligible for the payments will receive $300 monthly for children who are under 6 years old and $250 for children between the ages of 6 and 17.

In a YouTube video posted in late June, the IRS warned that “cyber criminals use every opportunity to try to scam people out of money” and that people should be “aware that thieves may use these payments as bait.”

The IRS stressed in its video that the IRS does not leave people with messages that are pre-recorded, urgent or threatening. 

“For example, if you get a voice mail saying a warrant will be issued for your arrest … this is not the IRS,” the IRS said.

Additionally, the agency said that most families will likely not have to take further steps to get their child tax credit payments since they used 2019 and 2020 tax returns to automatically enroll families.