In mid-July, the Internal Revenue Service began distributing additional monthly payments to New Jersey families with children 17 and under as part of the Expanded Child Tax Credit program.
Now the crooks are trying to profit from the expansion of the program.
Mike Geraghty, director of the Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell at the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, said bad actors make calls and send texts and emails asking parents to validate their eligibility for the program.
He said crooks direct people to scam websites to collect their social security numbers, dates of birth and other information.
“In some cases, they say they could speed up upcoming payments, $ 300 a month, and get a lump sum instead,” Geraghty said.
And in other cases, victims are told that they have received a tax credit overpayment and must return the money by sending it in the form of gift cards, or face hefty charges. sanctions.
“The IRS will never contact individuals by phone, email, or text message to request personal information or demand payment,” Geraghty said.
He said if you are contacted in this manner and need to either hang up or notify the IRS of their website and report the scam.
“Whenever the government gives money, you can be sure that these bad actors and crooks will take advantage of it,” he said.
So how do you know when someone is trying to rip you off or if something is going on?
Most of the time, false rhetoric involves a sense of urgency that capitalizes on victims’ fears if they do not act quickly.
“Take a deep breath, then do your due diligence: a simple internet search will show that these are scams that have been reported,” he said.
Two weeks ago, the Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Unit issued a New Jersey MVC Fake Text Alert advising people that they need to update their driver’s license information and directing them to a fake website to fill in the necessary personal data.