Washington (June 19, 2003) -- The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers about a new scam targeting potential recipients of the Advance Child Tax Credit.

The IRS has seen isolated instances of this new scheme. A taxpayer receives a telephone call from a person who promises to speed up the payment of the Advance Child Tax Credit checks. The catch is the taxpayer must agree to a $39.99 charge to a credit card.

“The only thing the taxpayer needs to do is cash the check,” said Mark W. 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.”

Under the new scam, the IRS is seeing the continuation of a trend that emerged earlier this year when the families of those serving in the Armed Forces were targeted. In both of these schemes, scam artists use current events to prey on unsuspecting victims. 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 the taxpayer realizes something is wrong, the scam operator is long gone.

-- WebCPA staff

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