Starting today through December 15, if you qualify for payments through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced it is sending monthly payments direct deposit, paper checks, or through debit cards. These payments are an advance on the child tax credit, which means eligible people will get up to half of their child tax credit in these monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 taxes. You can go to IRS.gov to see who qualifies, how much you may receive, and how to address any problems. You will also have the option of unenrolling from the Advance payments program.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, when it comes to the government being in the news, the scammers will likely use their standard playbook, meaning impostor scams may appear, with con artists pretending to "help" you get your payments earlier, get more money, or commit identity theft.
BBB and the FTC share these tips:
• 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.
• 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.
Learn more tips on how to avoid scams by reading 10 Steps to avoid scams. If you have been the victim of this or another scam, make others aware by filing a report on BBB.org/ScamTracker.
You can also report scams to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.