IRS Warns Taxpayers About New Scam Hitting Millions

( With every Federal government giveaway come the inevitable scammers hoping to exploit the program for their own benefit. And the latest Child Tax Credit payments which the IRS began sending out this past week is no exception.

The IRS issued a warning to taxpayers last Thursday to be aware of a growing number of scams already popping up now that these tax credits are being sent out.

According to the IRS, taxpayers should be wary of phone calls, emails, text messages, and even social media scams targeting families who are eligible for the credit from scammers looking to obtain personal information like social security numbers, or financial information.

Parents are urged not to fall for any pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages warning about lawsuits or arrests, or any requests to make a payment using a gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency.

The agency reminded taxpayers that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text messages or social media at all, let alone to request personal or financial information. Regarding phone calls, the IRS reiterated that it never uses pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages for a taxpayer. If a taxpayer receives a voice mail saying a warrant will be issued, it is not from the IRS.

These types of scams are all too common. Often, the scammers send emails purportedly from a bank or credit card company warning “customers” that their account was breached then instructing them to click a link to confirm their personal information.

The IRS allows for taxpayers to report suspicious emails – called “phishing” – by forwarding the email to its [email protected] email account. Never click on any links or attachments included in the phishing email; and do not reply.

Suspicious phone calls can also be reported to the phishing[email protected] email address with the subject line: “Phone scam.”

Suspicious texts can be forwarded to the IRS at 202-552-1226. In a separate text, forward the phone number from which the scam text originated.

Parents who have submitted a 2019 or 2020 tax return are automatically enrolled in the program and do not need to do anything to receive the monthly payments. For parents who have not previously filed, the IRS set up a new online tool that allows non-filers to report their information. The IRS never solicits the information via email, phone call or text message in order to sign someone up.