Recently, the first payments for the Child Tax Credit Advance from The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 went out to qualified recipients. Shortly after, the IRS warned recipients about an increasing number of social engineering scam attempts.
In this scam, fraudsters contact you by phone, text, email, or social media, pretending to be the IRS. They ask you to confirm sensitive personal information claiming it’s needed to send out your Child Tax Credit Advance payment.
STOP. THINK. DON’T BE A VICTIM.
Scammers often use threats or a sense of urgency, hoping to trick you into disclosing information. Stop, think, and don’t panic. Share this information with family members:
- Never share Social Security numbers, birth dates, names of family members, or other personal details by phone, text, or email.
- Child Tax Credit Advance payments are made automatically based on your 2019 or 2020 return.
- The IRS will never contact you by text, email, or social media asking for personal information.
- The IRS does not use pre-recorded or threatening phone messages.
- The IRS will never ask you to make payments with gift cards, wires, or cryptocurrency.
- If you receive a call from the IRS you think might be legitimate, hang up and call them back with a number you find from the IRS website. Scammers can use Caller ID spoofing to appear to be a legitimate number, so don’t hit redial on your phone.