The past year and a half has been one of uncertainty and scammers have definitely capitalized on it.

With pandemic relief bills and stimulus checks and the like, there has been a lot of information out there in unprecedented times. This has made it easy for scammers to trick people because so much has been new to all of us.

Now, with child tax credits being rolled out through the American Rescue Plan Act, scammers are doing their thing once again. The Better Business Bureau is warning everyone to stay alert so that you don't get scammed should you be eligible for the new tax credit.

The BBB, along with the Federal Trade Commission, says scammers will likely pose as a member of the government and offer to "help you get your payments earlier" or "get more money" out of it.

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We all know where this leads: scammers will eventually sucker people out of their banking information or personal information. They will make you believe they are real government officials and bank on the fact that you don't know every little detail of how something works.

According to the BBB, from Thursday, July 15th through the end of the year, the IRS will be sending monthly payments to those that qualify for the child tax credit. They will be sending these payments via direct deposit, check or prepaid debit card.

If you think you may qualify for the child tax credit or are unsure, do your research. Find out if you qualify and for how much so you are prepared should you be a target of a scammer.

The BBB reminds everyone that if someone is offering up payment in an unusual way, it is likely a scam. Most legitimate companies will not pay out using cryptocurrency or gift cards so confirm how you will be getting any tax credit payments.

Also note that government agencies won't text you or send you a message. If you get a message from a supposed government agency, do not respond. Instead, reach out to the organization directly and confirm it is indeed them.

A recent scam had Visit Duluth warning their loyal Facebook fans about a fake account under their name. The scammers were posing as Visit Duluth, offering fake prizes to their fans. It was, of course, a scam.

Another Duluth business was also hit with a similar scam. Something Sweet by Maddie Lu was the victim of a fake Facebook account just one day after opening their new location at the Miller Hill Mall.

I guess we should always be on high alert. It's a new time.

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