As part of the recently passed COVID stimulus package, many Americans will receive early payments from the child tax credit. Those are scheduled to be mailed out by the IRS between July and December.

The first half of the child tax credit will be allocated during the scheduled 6 month period, and the rest will be completed when you file your taxes. But whenever money is being sent to citizens, criminals are gearing up to steal it.

Scammers have already started to target potential victims, and recent research unveiled what length they will go. Phone scams that use COVID-19 or stimulus checks as bait have increased by nearly 1,000% since March alone.

Here’s the backstory

Caller identification company Hiya discovered that stimulus check phone scams have been skyrocketing over the last couple of months. In fact, they reached an all-time high this month, with over 1.1 million malicious calls made.

“We first started seeing instances of other…

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