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Phishers Attack on Beneficiaries of Child Support

Offshore criminals sending out phishing e-mails to deceive people seem to have sunk low by aiming to steal child support funds in Pennsylvania, according to the officials at the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement.

The fraudulent e-mails seemed to have its source in Romania are reaching those people who use the EPPI Card to receive child support money and compensatory benefits for being unemployed in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is one of those 15 states that use the card for disbursement of government money.

As known, phishing e-mails are messages that seek users' account data and private information. They might look legitimate but contain links that point to bogus Websites. Just like, any electronic mail soliciting users' account and private data, officials are advising EPPI Cardholders to avoid sharing information. However, for anyone who has disclosed personal information or is in doubt should contact the customer service at the number provided on the reverse side of his/her card.

Cloudmark, which has detected about twenty of such fraudulent e-mails, said that the number was perhaps just a minuscule of the entire lot. Adam O'Donnell, Director of emerging technology at Cloudmark, said that there is no indication that the e-mails are specifically aimed at EPPI Card users, as reported by GCN on May 30, 2008.

However, such an attack is expected to become increasingly common as bigger targets like PayPal and banks become over-phished. Meanwhile, EPPI Card is asking consumers via its Website to look out for the scam e-mail and is saying that it never requests for card and personal information over e-mail, cell-phone text messages or phone calls.

According to Dan Richard, Director of the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, the state had recently come to know about the e-mails and the officials believed that it was the first incident of ripping off EPPI Cardholders in this way, as reported by RedOrbit on May 28, 2008.

Meanwhile, majority of the EPPI Card users has a reasonable knowledge about transmission of electronic funds and knows the need to protect personal information. Authorities also try to help by blocking phishing Websites, but then their owner-cum-operators simply shift to others.

Related article: Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

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