NC Attorney General Roy Cooper issued an alert about child support text scam
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If you’re a single parent that counts on your monthly support payments to get by, you must learn about and be on the lookout so you don’t fall prey to this disgusting North Carolina child support scam. The North Carolina Division of Social Services is currently managing more than 426,500 child support cases. If you’re on the receiving end of child support in NC, you know the state Department of Health and Human Services manages the collection and payment process.
Custodial parents have the option of having their funds sent to their bank account via direct deposit or loaded onto an ncKIDScard. These cards work much like standard debit cards and can be used where VISA is accepted for purchases and can be used for cash back at POS registers (just like regular debit cards) or at ATMs. The ncKIDScards are managed by SMI One Card. This is the background you need to know to understand the scam.
How the Scam Works
If you receive child support, you get a text stating that there is a problem with your ncKIDScard. This is a fraudulent message that kicks off the scam – known as a phishing scam. The text gives you a number to call in to activate the scam. And when you call in, you’re asked for your account number, bank information, personal identification and other information that can be used to access your account and steal money.
New phishing scam targets NC child support recipients
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What to Do If You Get a Text Like This
First, don’t respond to it and definitely don’t call the number but save the message for future reference in case law enforcement needs to see it. Next, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 877-5-NO-SCAM and report that you’ve received the message and answer any other questions you have. If you prefer, you can report the scam attempt online at www.ncdoj.gov.
How Many Have Been Hit by the Child Support Scam?
So far, close to 130 North Carolina families have been fooled by this iteration of the scam. This has been tried before and other families lost money then as well. A number of victims have lost several hundred dollars each. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper issued an alert about the scam in mid-December. Scams are not good at any time, but as this one hit right before Christmas, it robbed many of a decent holiday for their children.
After a divorce, debts can be even more unmanageable. If you are struggling financially, a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a good solution to get you the fresh start you need. Contact the law offices of John T Orcutt for a free consultation to discuss your specific circumstances and how we can help you.