Consumer Alert: Child tax credit payments bringing out fraudsters

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Eligible families will get their second round of advanced child tax credit payments in September, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a warning for them.

Thieves are using this assistance as bait.

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“Any time there’s a government program that’s designed to help people, those that have the bad intentions… the criminals are going to want to try and take advantage of that, and not only take advantage of that, but take advantage of people as well.”

Adam Jobes, IRS assistant special agent in charge

These advanced payments first appeared in bank accounts in July and should have come in through the same method as the taxpayers refund. That was direct deposit for most folks.

“If that’s how you elected to get your refund, then of course that’s how this tax, this advanced child tax, would be paid as well,” Jobes said. “You can also get it by a bank card, paper check, that’s another mechanism.”

With different ways to receive payments, scammers are finding ways to trick parents who need the help. So ignore any offers coming through an email, phone call or social media message that promises child tax credit help.

“Generally what you will see, they will try to solicit information from you that you do not have to provide in order to get the credit,” Jobes said.

Then false promises follow those unwanted solicitations.

“You know, ‘We can help you get the credit quicker or those funds in your bank account sooner,’ or ‘We can get you more money,’ those types of things. Those are red flags,” Jobes said.

The IRS said they will never call taxpayers about how they want to receive their child tax credit, so stay away from tempting offers and personal questions over the phone.

Check out what’s going on around the nation on our National News page

Click here to visit the IRS website to learn more about legitimate payment options and personal eligibility.

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