March 27, 2024

TEXT scams have skyrocketed in the months since Child Tax Credit payments began reaching homes, according to the IRS.

The practice, called SMS phishing or “smishing,” targets individuals by sending out malicious links or trying to obtain personal information by posing as official IRS communication.



The IRS warns that text message phishing scams, also known as “smishing,” could target recipients of the Child Tax CreditCredit: Getty

The IRS has been warning taxpayers of these scams since July when the $300 tax credit started.

To avoid falling victim to the scams, the IRS recommends keeping watch for “eligibility forms” or unfamiliar links shared via text message.

Never open a link that appears to originate from the Treasury department or secretary of the Treasury, and don’t provide sensitive information via text message, even to a contact you recognize.

Thousands of text messages and emails are sent out every day hoping “they’ll get people to respond and fall prey to their scam,” IRS Criminal Investigations claim.

The IRS said in a statement that “Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a variety of phone, e-mail, text message and social media scams targeting families eligible for the credit.”

Some messages could look very legitimate, with messages advising recipients to check their Economic Impact Payments Status.

Instead of clicking those links, the IRS asks taxpayers to go straight to the IRS portal for tracking and updates.

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