Residents beware of the child tax credit scams

Dawn Rye | Writer

Starting Thursday, July 15 through December 2021, parents who qualify for the American Rescue Plan Act and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would be sending monthly payments direct deposit, paper checks, or through debit cards. 

These payments advance on the child tax credit, which means eligible people will receive up to half of their child tax credit in these monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 taxes. For more information can be found at IRS.gov to see if parents meet the requirements, how much they may receive and how to address any problems. And have the option to unenroll from the advance payments program.

According to BBB Regional CEO Jim Hegarty, millions of people were sent into poverty by the pandemic and the American Rescue Plan Act would help many of those families. 

“However, families should be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of scammers,” said Hegarty.

Turner County Deputy Presley explained that scams start in all different ways. Usual scams will ask for other payment forms that would not appear traditional. Some scams will request sending PayPal payments to an individual instead of the business or government entity. They ask people to purchase a pre-paid card and send the information to them either over the phone or by email. 

Helm said one essential thing for residents to remember to avoid becoming victims of the child tax scam is knowing the IRS will not contact people. IRS representatives will wait for a person to contact their office with questions. He noted that people need to ensure they are on the appropriate IRS website if any adjustments to the collections of their child tax credit. 

If someone believes they are being scammed, contact their local law enforcement agencies to report the scam. 

“I just encourage people never to give out any personal information if they feel unsure of the authenticity of the email, mail, or individual on the other end of the phone,” commented Helm.

Also, contact their bank and take the proper steps to ensure no further loss of money happens depending on what information is stolen from the individual.

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