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“This is the IRS. Our records indicate that you are eligible to receive an advance payment on your child tax credit.”
“Ok. What do I need to do?”
“Can I verify your social security number?”
“Why yes, it’s ***-**-****.”
“Thanks. You’ll get your payment in just a few days.”
“Great, thank you!”
A conversation such as the one above may sound believable, but it in fact is a scam. With the flurry of legitimate government payments associated with the American Rescue Plan Act, including the child tax credit advance payments, come scammers preying.
As of July 15, 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the government began issuing monthly payments of the child tax credit to eligible families. These payments will be made through direct deposit, check or debit cards. The IRS will use your 2020 or 2019 tax return to determine your eligibility. If you’re unsure of your eligibility, you can check here. The payment are legitimate and you won’t have to do anything to receive yours if you are eligible.
It can sometimes be difficult to identify a scam. With the resources that scammers have available nowadays they can often make elaborate scams and they can be good at their job. Trust your instincts. If you think that you are being scammed, it’s best to stop and think.
A few questions that you can ask yourself are:
If you ask yourself these questions, you can usually identify if you’re being scammed. However, if you think you’ve been scammed, don’t panic. Stop any communication and the best thing that you can do is report the scam to the FTC at reportfraud.ftc.gov.