BBB: Child tax credits are coming -- and so are the scammers

·2 min read

Jun. 27—BUFFALO — Child tax credits, through the American Rescue Plan Act, will soon hit people's bank accounts.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced it is sending payments to qualified recipients via direct deposit, paper check, or debit cards. The payments are scheduled to start on July 15.

These payments are an advance on the child tax credit, which means eligible people will get up to half of their child tax credit in these monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 taxes.

You can go to IRS.gov to see who qualifies, how much you may receive, and how to address any problems. You will also have the option of opting out of the advance payments program.

Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission warn everyone to be on the lookout for scams. When the government is in the news, scammers will likely use their standard playbook, meaning impostor scams may appear. In many cases, scammers will offer to "help" you get your payments earlier, or get more money, etc.

BBB and the FTC share these tips:

—Avoid impostor scams — Government agencies like the IRS or Social Security Administration will not call, text, DM, or email you.

—Do not give out any personal information, like social security numbers, bank account information, or credit/debit card numbers.

—Eligibility requirements and payment disbursements are monitored by the IRS only.

As always, when someone is requiring payments by gift card, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency, it is likely a scam.

Learn more tips on how to avoid scams by reading 10 steps to avoid scams. If you have been the victim of this or another scam, make others aware by filing a report on BBB.org/ScamTracker.

You can also report scams to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Visit BBB.org to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, read tips, follow us on social media, and more.

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