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Beware of scams that seek your federal credit payments, the BBB warns.

Through December 2021, for people who qualify for payments through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Internal Revenue Service is sending monthly payments direct deposit, paper check or through debit cards. 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.

Visit irs.gov to see who qualifies, how much you may receive, and how to address any problems. People will also have the option of unenrolling from the advance payments program.

The Better Business Bureau warns that scammers are attempting to take advantage of people hoping to receive these benefits.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, when it comes to government in the news, the scammers will likely use their standard playbook, meaning impostor scams may appear, with con artists pretending to help people get payments earlier, get more money, or commit identity theft.

Tips to protect yourself

  • 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.
  • When someone is requiring payments by gift card, wire transfers or cryptocurrency, it is likely a scam.
  • Learn 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 and at reportfraud.ftc.gov.