Stimulus Scam Alert: These Fake Child Tax Credit Websites Will Steal Your Identity
Nigerian crooks have set up more than 50 fake US government sites in an attempt to steal Americans’ identities in hopes of securing additional stimulus funds, information security firm DomainTools reports.
The websites have addresses such as “AmericanReliefPlan.com”, “AmericaFundForStimulus.com” and “ReliefCareFunds.com”. (A full list is in the DomainTools ReportThese sites claim to be linked to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the legislation President Joe Biden enacted in March that created the third wave of stimulus checks.
The law also provides for six months of advance payments for child tax credits in 2021. Almost everyone in the United States who has a child under age 18 at home will receive hundreds of dollars from the federal government each month. between July and December.
In most cases, American parents and legal guardians do not have to do anything to get this money. The first round of checks and direct deposits was made on July 15. But the US government hasn’t done the best job of clarifying this, and people understandably have questions about how to sign up for the money.
This is where the crooks come in.
“Many aid recipients are unaware that this aid will be automatically allocated to them by the IRS,” Chad Anderson, senior security researcher at DomainTools, wrote in the company report.
“The crooks take the opportunity to collect social security numbers and photographs of driver’s licenses to be used in identity theft.”
The dangers of disclosing personal information
Scam sites also ask for your cell phone number, home address, date of birth, and mother’s maiden name, among others.
Your mobile number can be used to reset passwords for your online account, as can your mother’s maiden name. Your address and date of birth, when combined with your full name and Social Security number, can be used to impersonate you.
DomainTools discovered that a legitimate web design company in Ibadan, western Nigeria, had registered the suspicious domains at least in early June, as media attention began to focus on prepayments of credit. US child tax. Anderson said DomainTools tried to contact the web design company but received no response.
So if you come across a site claiming that you have to provide personal information to get child tax credits, be very suspicious. Only the IRS Child Tax Credit portal, which looks very boring and whose address ends with “irs.gov”, should ask for such information.
Again, almost everyone who qualifies for the child tax credit advance payments is automatically enrolled. Most people don’t need anything to get money, and we have step-by-step guides for those who need it.