What Direct Express Scams Should I Watch Out For?

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The Direct Express MasterCard is a debit card. Every time you use it, the money is immediately taken from your funds. While a debit card guarantees immediate payment, this type of card is very attractive to thieves. If they get hold of your card, they can simply take cash from your account before you can do anything about it. 

Fraudsters are constantly finding new ways to steal Direct Express card information and drain the funds from the cardholder’s account. Here are the most common scams to watch out for. 

Phishing is a method where criminals gather personal information using fraudulent phone calls, emails, and websites. They may ask Direct Express customers to verify or submit personal information like Social Security number, account number, and password by clicking on a link. Once you provide the information, fraudsters have the access to your account.

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Card thieves install equipment that captures magnetic stripe and keypad information when you input your PIN at ATMs or retailers. This type of scam, called skimming, allows them to copy the information on blank cards and either use them at ATMs to withdraw money or make purchases online. 

Gas station scams are also quite common. Criminals install a skimming device on the face of the pump where customers insert their cards or even purchase pump keys online to open up the pump and insert an internal skimmer. This way they can easily steal your debit card number and PIN code.

Watch out for cellphone camera scams when using your card in a store. The scammer can stand behind you and take a short video with a cellphone camera. The video captures your card number and PIN and the fraudster can use this information to make purchases with your card.

RELATED:

  • Learn more on what to do when your Direct Express Card is Lost.
  • Get all the facts here about your Direct Express Routing Number.
  • Discover more on how to Access Direct Express Cardless Benefit.

Tips On How To Avoid Scams With Your Direct Express Card

Although debit card frauds are getting more and more sophisticated, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself from scams.

  • Don’t share your login and password with anyone. 
  • Use a secure network. Don’t access your Direct Express account at Internet cafes and other public spaces. 
  • Never leave your computer unattended while using online banking services.
  • When making online purchases, make sure that there is “https” and a closed padlock icon in the address bar, indicating that your data transfer is secure.
  • Protect your computer and mobile devices by installing firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software.
  • Don’t respond to any emails claiming to come from Direct Express or Comerica and asking for your personal customer information. 
  • When you are paying at the gas pump, choose the option of using your Direct Express card as a credit card so that you do not have to type in your PIN. The purchase will be processed through a credit-card network, giving you greater protection from liability in case of fraud. 
  • Whenever possible, use an ATM attached to a bank branch. They have much better security than the ATMs outside grocery stores or gas stations. 
  • Make sure that no one is watching while you are entering your PIN code. Don’t write your PIN on your card.
  • Closely monitor your Direct Express account. Check your recent transactions regularly online or on the mobile app. You can also subscribe to low balance alerts through the app. 
  • Destroy your old Direct Express card as soon as you receive and activate a new one.
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What Should I Do If My Money Was Stolen From My Direct Express Card?

If money was stolen from your Social Security Direct Express card, call customer service at the toll-free number indicated on the back of the card and report the incident immediately. 

You will be asked to explain what happened and prove that it wasn’t anything you did that caused the funds from your account to be stolen. Customer service will then send you a fraud packet, which you have to complete and mail back. Keep in mind that funds won’t be restored to your account until Direct Express conducts the investigation and classifies it as a case of fraud.

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