(The Center Square) – The Internal Revenue Service will be issuing checks to Illinoisans eligible for the Child Tax Credit starting on July 15 and continuing through the end of year, a potential opportunity for fraud and scammers.
The Better Business Bureau is advising people to be on the lookout for potential scam artists once the checks start going out. Chief Executive Officer for the BBB Chicago, Steve Bernas, said that when the government is in the news scammers will emerge.
“Scammers read the newspapers and watch the news just like all of us,” Bernas said. “So if there is something in the news like this week with the Child Tax Credit, the scammer will take advantage and become an imposter.”
These potential con artists will try many different things to try and gain personal information from someone. The information will then be used to steal a person’s identity.
Bernas said that in order for Illinoisans to protect themselves from such scams, it is important to know the information to help spot a potential con artist.
One of the main indicators that a person might be getting scammed is in receiving a phone call, Bernas said.
“One thing that consumers and businesses need to keep in mind is that the government will never call you for confidential information out of the blue,” Bernas said.
If you happen to receive a phone call, be on the lookout for questions regarding specific information.
“If you get a call from someone saying they need additional information from you such as Social Security numbers, birthdays, or bank account information, remember that none of that is needed for this Child Tax Credit,” Bernas said.
The BBB encourages people to report possible scams regardless of whether or not that person loses money. These scams can be reported at the BBB website at BBB.org/ScamTracker.
For information on the Child Tax Credit, the BBB advises citizens to visit IRS.gov to see who qualifies, how much a person may receive and information on how to address any problems.