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Portage Child Benefit Cardholders Under Phishing Scam

The Portage County and Ohio divisions of JFS (Job and Family Services) are warning that two scams making the rounds on the Web in attempts to gather confidential data from people using EBT (electronic bank transfer) benefit cards for child support, as reported by RecordPub on May 16, 2008.

Anita Herington, Director of the JFS department of the county, said that she got a notifying letter from the Ohio JFS Office of Child Support alerting that a user of the EBT card recently received an e-mail asking for confirmation of sensitive account details, including the person's PIN (personal identification number), as reported by RecordPub on May 16, 2008.

Officials at the Job and Family Services said that the cardholder was led to eppicard.com, a Website looking like the actual e-QuickPay Website but the site was really false. Furthermore, another cardholder too was contacted, this time over phone, whereby a fraud telemarketer was trying to sell subscriptions for magazines with an offer to go for a $25,000 sweepstakes.

It seems the caller knew that the client had received his benefit card and the solicit private information. Such schemes are referred to as 'phishing' in which Social Security number, banking and other financial particulars are requested over e-mail to then commit identity fraud.

Phishing involves an e-mail fraud whereby the fraudster distributes an authentic-looking e-mail in efforts to collect financial and other personal data from e-mail recipients. Generally, the messages seem to arrive from popular and trusted Websites. At times, these websites also carry malware programs like spyware, adware, or other similar badware.

Furthermore, Anita said that her department would never request a client for his/her PIN number. Since that is a means of security, somebody is inappropriately trying to obtain a PIN doesn't sound good to her at all.

Meanwhile, Ohio JFS emphasized that cardholders should not disclose their PIN, never keep it written on anything and specially not write it on their benefit cards. The Office also said that the county and state JFS or child support agencies too never ask a cardholder over e-mail or phone to verify confidential and sensitive information.

Related article: Portage Agency Cautions about Scam

» SPAMfighter News - 5/27/2008

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