Experts warn of child tax credit scammers

Michigan

The Child Tax Credit will result in monthly payments to an estimated 39 million households (Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Western Michigan has issued a warning for those who may qualify for the child tax credit, encouraging people to be aware of potential scammers.

Starting today through December 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced those who qualify American Rescue Act funds will receive payments either through direct deposit or a paper check. Those eligible are receiving an advance on the child tax credit; getting half of their child tax credit through monthly payments, and receiving the second half after filing their 2021 taxes.

Scammers are oftentimes pretending to help people get their payments earlier, get more money or commit identity theft.

Phil Catlett, President of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan issued a statement about the importance of being aware of con artists,

“Scammers wait for events like these to prey on those who need the payments. It is important that people take their time and double check the offer they receive to make sure they are not being ripped off. Once a scammer gets your money, it is very hard to get back.”

The Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission encourage people to do the following:

  • Avoid Impostor scams – Government agencies like the IRS or Social Security Administration will not call, text, DM, or email you.
  • Do not give out any personal information, like social security numbers, bank account information, or credit/debit card numbers over the phone or through email.
  • Eligibility requirements and payment disbursements are monitored by the IRS only.
  • When someone is requiring payments by gift card, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency, it is likely a scam.

People interested in determining their eligibility, as well as how much they may receive can visit IRS.gov. The option of unenrolling from the Advance payments program is also available.

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