August 18, 2021

Senator Hassan Urges IRS to Take Action to Prevent Child Tax Credit Scams

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan is urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to combat scammers using the child tax credit to target Granite State families. Her call follows reports about how scammers may use the new Child Tax Credit to conduct phishing attacks and secure personal or financial information.

 

In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Senator Hassan notes “We have already seen criminals try to impersonate IRS officials by sending unsolicited emails or calls urging families to ‘sign up’ to receive their child tax credit. These types of phishing attacks allow scammers to gain identifying information about an individual and their family members.”

 

In order to address this, Senator Hassan is urging the IRS to “raise awareness with American families about potential scams, as well as detail what it is doing to stop scammers.”

 

Senator Hassan specifically asks the IRS to address:

1)      What efforts is the IRS taking to raise awareness about these scams among families eligible for the expanded child tax credit?

2)      What, if any, data does the IRS have on the prevalence of these scams?

3)      What additional authority or resources would assist the IRS in stopping scammers and protecting families from child tax credit scams?

 

Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to target fraud. Last year, Senator Hassan and a bipartisan group of her colleagues called on relevant government agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, to aggressively crack down on scammers seeking to take advantage of Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan to crack down on robocalls became law. The legislation improves the federal government’s ability to find scammers, increases penalties on those caught, and requires call authentication and blocking technology to be made available free of charge to consumers. Additionally, the Senate last year passed bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan to help fight scams designed to rob seniors of their assets.

 

To see the full text of the letter, click here or read below:

 

Dear Commissioner Rettig:

 

I write to express my concern over recent reports that scammers are using the launch of the child tax credit as an opportunity to target Granite State families. Families in my state are already benefiting from this critical tax cut, using it to pay their bills or help afford quality child care. We need to ensure that families receive their tax cuts, which is why I urge the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to take action to prevent child tax credit scams.

 

The American Rescue Plan that Congress passed into law earlier this year expanded the child tax credit for American families for 2021. As part of this tax cut, in July 2021, the federal government started issuing monthly payments to families of up to $250 or $300. These monthly payments are automatic for all families who have filed tax returns for 2019 or 2020, or for individuals who have signed up to receive this tax credit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Unfortunately, we have already seen criminals try to impersonate IRS officials by sending unsolicited emails or calls urging families to “sign up” to receive their child tax credit. These types of phishing attacks allow scammers to gain identifying information about an individual and their family members.

 

In order to prevent such attacks, I am requesting the IRS raise awareness with American families about potential scams, as well as detail what it is doing to stop scammers. Simple measures such as educating Americans that the IRS will never call, text, or direct message you for information could help prevent these attacks.

 

To that end, I request answers to the following questions:

 

1)      What efforts is the IRS taking to raise awareness about these scams among families eligible for the expanded child tax credit?

2)      What, if any, data does the IRS have on the prevalence of these scams?

3)      What additional authority or resources would assist the IRS in stopping scammers and protecting families from child tax credit scams?

 

I appreciate your hard work in delivering this much-needed relief to families and your work to protect families against scammers.

 

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