COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Beginning next week, the Internal Revenue Service will be implementing the Child Tax Credit early refund through the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Central Ohio Better Business Bureau (BBB) has sent out a warning to be aware of fraudulent phone calls, emails, and text messages.
“Scammers are very good at what they do,” said Jessica Kapcar with the BBB. “They have technology that makes things seem very believable.”
Kapcar’s office calls these Imposter Scams.
“They are pretending to be the IRS. They are pretending to be other government agencies,” she said.
Any time there is a new “event” like the current Child Tax Credit refund, the BBB sees an uptick in bogus calls from thieves.
BBB offers these helpful hints
- Don’t click on links in an email or text message
- Don’t respond to a phone call if you don’t know who is on the other line (it’s not the IRS)
- Report anything you feel is fraudulent to the BBB, Ohio Attorney General, or the Federal Trade Commission.
“2020 was a year that we saw a huge rise in the number of scams that were reported,” said Kapcar. “You’ll see the same sort of tactics: the emails, the phone calls, they prey on the confusion, they prey on the confusion and fear.”
If you are eligible for the Child Tax Credit, the IRS will send you payments through direct deposit, paper check, or debit cards. They already have your information if you filed your taxes for 2019 or 2020. If your information has changed, you need to contact the IRS. They will not contact you.
REPORT A SUSPECTED SCAM
These payments advance on the child tax credit, which means eligible people will get up to half of their child tax credit in monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 taxes.
You can go click here 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.