Police investigating texting scam involving EPPIcard
PALM BAY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – A one Palm Bay mom is upset and she wants other single a parents to know how she was taken for more than $1,300 dollars in child support payments.
“I was in the middle of my daughter’s birthday party and I had gotten a text message on my phone saying it was my EPPIcard, state child support, card. And it was saying that I needed to reactivate my card,” said Anita.
An EPPIcard is an account similar to a bank account used for child support payments. The EPPIcard works like an ATM card. Excited to be getting a long overdue child support payment from her ex, Anita called immediately.
“It came up as JP Morgan, this is your Florida state child support EPPI card, you need to activate your card so we can put your money onto the card and you can use it since its such a large amount of money,” said Anita recalling what the recording said when she called the number listed in the text message.
Then, she was instructed to punch in her EPPIcard account number and pin. So, she did, thinking she’d reactivated her account. then she logged onto her online EPPIcard account and saw that a $2,104.79 deposit had been made.
“Then Sunday I went to Walmart and went school shopping for my kids cashed out at Walmart. Came home put the stuff away,” said Anita. but, when she tried to use her EPPIcard again just four hours later to buy her four children dinner, “The waitress handed me my card back and it said declined. I said run that again. It was declined again.”
Anita paid cash for the meal and took her family home. The second she walked in the door, she logged into her EPPIcard account. What she saw shocked her. Two pending transactions from New Mexico. A balance inquiry in Santa Monica, California, then someone used an ATM to withdraw more than $1,300 from her account.
“I have my card. It’s the only card and I was sitting here in Florida,” said Anita.
She immediately called the number on the back of her EPPIcard to report what happened. she told the customer service representative about she re-activated her card after her ex made the deposit. It turns out, that text message which she received reactivate the account was bogus. Without knowing it Anita gave thieves her account number and pin number, essentially giving them the keys to scam her out of her own money, without knowing it.
Anita’s advice to other parents receiving child support, “Don’t give out your information, even if it sounds true.”
Palm Bay Police are now investigating this scam. The FBI warns that anytime you are instructed to reactivate a card, call the number on the back of that card and ask about the request made in the email or text to make sure it is legitimate.
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