The United States Internal Revenue Service has issued a consumer alert, warning Carbon County residents to avoid falling victim to a new scam targeting potential recipients of the advance child tax credit.
The IRS has confirmed several instances of the scheme.
A taxpayer receives a telephone call from a person who promises to speed up the payment of the advance child tax credit checks, pointed out the federal agency.
The catch is the taxpayer must agree to a $39.99 charge to a credit card.
The IRS reminds Carbon County residents that no person or organization can speed up the payment of federal income tax benefits.
In reality, taxpayers do not have to take any action to receive the new benefit.
The child tax credit features an advance payment for up to $400 per qualifying youngster.
The U.S. Treasury Department and IRS will perform all the calculations and automatically mail a notice along with a check to all eligible taxpayers, starting the week of July 25.
"The only thing the taxpayer needs to do is cash the check," explained Mark Everson, IRS commissioner. "If you qualify, we will send you a notice."
"There's no need to call, no need to apply, no need to fill out another form.The IRS will do all the work. A few days after the notice, you will get the check," added the federal agency representative.
Responding to complaints involving the new scam, the IRS is seeing the continuation of a trend that emerged earlier in the year when the families of people serving in the U.S. Armed Forces were targeted.
In both of the schemes, scam artists use current events to prey on unsuspecting victims, stressed the federal agency. The scams also feature callers seeking credit card information to get taxpayers to pay for special benefits.
If the taxpayer agrees to the charge and provides a credit card number or other sensitive personal information, she could find a much larger charge to her account.
By the time U.S. citizens realize something is wrong, the scam operator is long gone, possibly victimizing another taxpayer.
The federal agency encouraged Carbon County residents who encounter the child credit scam or suspect tax fraud to contact the nearest Internal Revenue Service office.
And when in doubt, residents should seek help from the IRS or a tax professional, pointed out the federal agency.
Carbon County residents may call the IRS tax fraud hotline toll-free at 1-800-829-0433.