(GMA) — The IRS is alerting families eligible to receive the new child tax credit payment that they could be the target of a new scam. We are stretching your dollar with what to look out for.
It can be a text message with a link to apply for the child tax credit or an email asking to click and claim your economic stimulus payment. The IRS says these are fake. Cybercriminals are actively trying to scam entitled families out of this money.
Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation James Lee said, “We’re seeing scammers trying to take advantage of the American public by attempting to gain information, using phone calls, emails, text messages through social media.”
The Better Business Bureau is also issuing an alert: “Child tax credits are coming and so are the scammers.”
And, cybersecurity firm Domain Tools is reporting it has found nearly 50 sites pretending to be part of the government’s American Rescue Plan, which includes the child tax credit.
Senior Security Researcher at Domain Tools Chad Anderson said, “If you were searching for American Relief Plan, you may come across one of these sites.”
Domain Tools said while many of the sites have since been taken down, these are still active, all with a similar design and all not ending in .gov; a major red flag.
“They built a website that will siphon off the identity information,” Anderson said.
The sites ask for your social security number and driver’s license or state ID number to apply.
Anderson added that scammers would be “able to steal someone’s refund check and also log to any sort of bank account information.”
Good Morning America tried contacting the sites. For each, either no response or we couldn’t get through to reach a person.
The IRS states that it does not contact taxpayers via email, text messages, or social media platforms to request personal or financial information for verification, or any information related to the child tax credit.
Remember, if you’re eligible for the child tax credit, you’ll be automatically enrolled based on your 2019 – 2020 tax returns. You don’t have to do anything more.