Scammers may target child tax credit payments

Money Matters

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Scammers are making more bogus phone calls and they could be going after Child Tax Credit refunds.

“These guys are very good at what they do,” said Carmen Million, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau South Central Louisiana. The BBB is sending a warning about fake phone calls, emails, and text messages. Thieves are pretending to be the IRS and wanting more than your personal information.

“They are going to ask you to buy a gift card, a cash card basically. They are going to tell you to put several hundred dollars on that card, and they are going to remove every penny off that card,” said Million.

The IRS will not call you and to get the refund, in most cases, there is nothing you really need to do.

Kemberley Washington, a Certified Public Accountant, said, “If you do qualify, there’s nothing you need to do to receive it. The IRS will automatically send your payment based off your 2019 or 2020 tax return.” Washington said the refunds could help families living in poverty. The amount of money they receive varies.

“The IRS is going to pay $300 per child under the age of six a month. If your child is under the age of 17, the IRS will pay $250 per child a month,” said Washington.

Payments start going out July 15 and continue through the end of the year. Do not click on links in text messages or emails and ignore numbers you do not recognize.

“Have them leave a message,” said Million.

Also remember, “Anytime it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Million.

If you fall victim, experts say the chance of getting your money back is slim to none.

To report a scam, you can contact the BBB South Central Louisiana at 225-346-5222.

The City of Baton Rouge will offer free tax preparation for the Child Tax Credit starting July 9 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Division of Human Development and Services located at 4523 Plank Road by appointment only. Call 225-358-4561 to schedule an appointment.

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