Child tax credit payments have been sent to tens of millions of American families. The process is bringing out scammers looking to cash in – literally – on the process.

The IRS is warning people about scammers targeting families who are receiving the child tax credit payments. The monthly payments of up to $300 per child were first distributed in July and will last through December.

The extra monthly money is “bait” to thieves, according to the IRS.

“Be alert to criminals who ask you, by phone, email, text – or even on social media, to verify your information so you can get advance child tax credit payments,” the IRS said. “Remember – the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.”

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The IRS doesn’t normally initiate contact with taxpayers by email. Do not reply to an email from someone who claims to be from the IRS because the IRS email address could be spoofed or faked. Emails from the IRS will end in IRS.gov.
  • The agency does not send text messages or contact people through social media. Fraudsters will impersonate legitimate government agents and agencies on social media and try to initiate contact with taxpayers.
  • When the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, the first contact is normally by letter delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Debt relief firms send unsolicited tax debt relief offers through the mail. Fraudsters will…

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