Taxpayers are being warned about child tax credit-related scams where criminals may try to steal money and/or personal information. Millions of American families are receiving the advance child tax credit payments and these criminals are creating innovative tactics to take advantage of their victims.
Scammers are targeting families receiving the tax credit payments and taxpayers should be suspicious of a variety of phone, e-mail, text message and social media scams. Any type of communication offering help to sign up for the child tax credit or to speed up the monthly payments is likely a scam. If an unsolicited call or message is received, the taxpayer should not provide personal information, click on links, or open any attachments, which could lead to lost money, tax-related fraud and identity theft.
Scammers are constantly coming up with new schemes to catch taxpayers off guard, but there are simple ways to identify if it is truly the IRS reaching out:
- The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via e-mail, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information, even information related to the child tax credit.
- The IRS does not leave prerecorded, urgent or threatening messages. Aggressive calls warning taxpayers about a lawsuit or arrest are fake.
- The IRS will not call taxpayers asking them to provide or verify financial information so they can obtain the monthly child tax credit payments.
- The IRS will not ask for payment via a gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency.
For taxpayers eligible for advance payments of the child tax credit, the IRS will use information from the 2020 or 2019 tax return to automatically enroll families in the program. The taxpayer does not have to take any additional action. Taxpayers who are not required to file a tax return or who have not provided the IRS their information, may visit IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021 to provide basic information for the child tax credit.
To report suspicious IRS-related phishing and online scams, visit IRS.gov.