Direct Express Fraud [Get The Help You Need!]

If you are a victim of Direct Express fraud and want to know if this is a common problem and what you can do about it, we can help. In this post, we are going to highlight several Direct Express fraud cases documented by news organizations around the country. We will then explain what you can do if you’ve been a victim of fraud and how to get your money back through Direct Express dispute resolution department.

"Direct Express Fraud Investigations"

This post will cover:

  • TV News Direct Express Fraud Investigation
  • How to File a Fraud Dispute with Direct Express
  • Direct Express Dispute Resolution Department Process

TV News Direct Express Fraud Investigation

Here are investigations of Direct Express by TV news stations and major news organizations:

Fraudsters Target Federally Issued Direct Express Debit Cards

The first story is from Sacramento CBS13 in California.

It highlights the story of Yasmin Snider of Citrus Heights, a Direct Express cardholder.

Yasmin, who is battling stage 4 breast cancer, relies heavily on her monthly Social Security payment of $618 to rent a room, buy food and her medicine.

She, like 4.5 million Americans collects her government benefits through her government-issued Direct Express Prepaid MasterCard.

When Snider went to use her Direct Express MasterCard one day, she realized her entire $618 payment was taken.

She called the number on the back of her Direct Express card for Direct Express customer service.

Snider learned somebody withdrew her entire monthly Social Security Payment from an ATM in Florida.

The problem was that Snider does not know anybody in Florida and has never been to Florida.

As a result of losing her money on her Direct Express card, she had no money for food and was forced to rely on friends to feed her.

She says the Comerica bank rep told her it could take up to 90-days to investigate the fraud. In the meantime, she had no money.

To read the entire story from Sacramento CBS13, click here. You can also watch it below.

Phishing scam hits Direct Express debit cards for Social Security

The next story is from WISHTV8 in Indianapolis, Indiana about Phishing scams targeting Direct Express customers.

They highlight the story of Charity Golden, who receives Social Security supplemental income (SSI) payments every month.

When Golden was first approved for supplemental income payments, she didn’t have a bank account.

Therefore, she signed up for a Direct Express debit card on the Social Security Administration’s website.

However, sometime in 2020, her Direct Express debit card number had been compromised and someone drained her account.

It turns out she is the victim of a phishing scam.

In total, she lost $900.

She got online and started tracking the fraudulent transactions, gathered up all the information and sent it to Direct Express, the company put a hold on her account while she waited for a new card.

However, she never got her new card from Direct Express, neither did she get the investigation paperwork to file a dispute.

Direct Express said they would not cover her losses.

You can read the report here.

Social Security Funds Were Drained by Fraudulent Charges on my Direct Express Card

In this report by ABC news, which dates back a few years (which tells you how long Direct Express fraud has been going on), funds were completely drained from a Direct Express cardholders account.

Here’s how it happened:

The Direct Express cardholder reports that on Dec. 31 of that year, a deposit of $648 was made his Direct Express account.

When he tried to access the funds at 10 o’clock the next morning, there was nothing but $28 left on the card.

He therefore called Direct Express and they said the money was still there, but transactions were pending at AT&T ($400), GameStop ($200) and at iTunes for the rest.

The cardholder is 64 years old and does use these businesses.

Clearly, he did not authorize the transactions and is a victim of fraud and theft.

However, it was not easy to get the issue resolved through Direct Express.

He was told by Direct Express that the transaction will be allowed to go through, then he would have to dispute it within five days.

However, every he tried to call to dispute it, he was given the runaround. Meanwhile, he can’t pay his rent or bills.

You can read the this and other stories documented by ABC News here.

Disappearing Federal Benefits For Seniors & Veterans

Here is another Direct Express Fraud story by 7 News Boston.

It’s about Derek, who served in the Marine Corps, and now has severe PTSD.

The disabled veteran lrelies on government benefits to get by.

However, sometime in 2019, some of those benefits vanished.

Derek’s financial lifeline is his Direct Express prepaid debit card, part of a program overseen by the federal government which lets people get their Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits electronically.

In 2019, it was discovered that $814 in disability payments had disappeared from Derek’s account.

Direct Express claimed that the money was wired to someone claiming to be Derek’s caregiver.

She his caregiver connected with other people who had similar issues, and discovered she was one of hundreds from coast to coast who have reported money stolen from their Direct Express accounts

She pressed lawmakers to investigate.

And Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., did, demanding answers from Direct Express.

Senator Warren’s investigation found 480 cases of fraud reported across the country, starting in August 2017 and gradually increasing in number over the next year.

The Senator’s Office found a total of $460,000 had been stolen during that time period.

Read the entire story here.

Credit Card Fraud Leaves Chicago Woman In The Cold

The video below from CBS affiliate station in Chicago about a woman who is on disability who became a victim of Direct Express fraud.

Her disability payment vanished from her Direct Express card, and she has not been able to pay her gas bills since, leaving her in a cold house in the middle of Chicago Winter.

Watch the full story below.

Government Prepaid Card Complaints Soared in 2020

According to this report by Forbes.

in 2020, millions of Americans turned to government aid programs to keep their finances afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, for some people, this much needed cash came with extra strings attached: a prepaid debit card to access their funds.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received 2,900 complaints about prepaid government benefits cards in 2020, compared to just 600 in 2019. The year prior? Just 300.

Direct Express cardholders were a large part of the complaints received.

Social Security recipients and veterans received their stimulus payments on their Direct Express prepaid debit cards; the Treasury Department said it issued more than 7 million stimulus payments to Direct Express cards in 2020 and early 2021.

That resulted in lots of issues including fraudulent charges.

Here’s a breakdown of the complaints to the CFPB:

33% of complainants reported trouble getting, activating or registering their card
30% had trouble using the card, including trying to use it to make purchases, withdraw money or pay bills
24% had problems with disputes about purchases or transfers that hadn’t been resolved, or issues with charges the cardholder didn’t make
11% had problems with fees for their card

Read the full story here.

Direct Express Dispute Resolution Department Process

Follow the next three steps in order to have the best chance of resolving your dispute with Direct Express.

How to file a Direct Express Dispute

If you have experienced one of the issues listed above, or you have an issue we did not talk about but would like to file a dispute, here’s how:

Step 1 – Call Direct Express Customer Service

Direct Express does not have a dispute form online, so the first step in the dispute process is to call Direct Express customer service.

You should call customer service as soon as you find out about the issue with your card.

You will probably have to wait on hold for a while before reaching a human.

For the fasted way to speak to a live person at Direct Express, scroll down below.

Customer Service can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The phone number Direct Express Customer Service is listed on the back of your card.

You can also call 888-741-1115 to reach customer service.

For the Hearing-impaired, call 1-866-569-0447.

For international callers, dial 1-765-778-6290 – (Collect).

You can call Direct Express customer service at the number below:

Step 2 – Provide Details of Your Issue

Once you are able to connect with a live person, report the issue you are trying to dispute.

If you are disputing unauthorized or fraudulent charges, prepare the following information to speed up the process:

  • Your Direct Express card number
  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Your Social Security number
  • The transaction you want to dispute (date of the transaction, the amount spent, the vendor’s name and location)
  • The reason why you think the transaction is fraudulent or why it was not possible for you to have made that transaction.

Step 3 – Wait for the Dispute form in the Mail

When you report a dispute with Direct Express customer service, they will send you a dispute form, which you have to complete.

You have 10 business days from the date of your call to fill out the form and return it.

Therefore, it is important to be on the lookout for the form in the mail and complete it and mail it back as soon as you get it.

Step 4 – File a Report with the Police

If you’ve been:

  • A victim of fraud
  • Your card was used for an unauthorized transaction (maybe in another state)
  • Your card was lost/stolen, and your money was drained from the Direct Express account

File a report with your local police as soon as you become aware of the issue.

Here’s why that is very important in the dispute resolution process.

As we have explained in Step 5 below, the burden falls on you to prove that you did not make the transaction you are disputing.

Having a police report of the incident helps you show how serious you took the issue.

Second, having a police report helps show your whereabouts when the issue occurred, especially if the charges were made in another state.

Finally, having a police report proves that you are willing to go on record to prove that this transaction was unauthorized.

With a police report, you are likely to get a favorable result when you submit your dispute form in Step 5 below.

Step 5 – Complete Dispute Form

When you receive the dispute form, complete it in its entirety and provide any supporting documentation that was requested.

Why it is important to take this step seriously:

Completing and returning the dispute form is the most important step in the Direct Express dispute resolution process.

Here’s why you should take it very seriously:

First, if you are trying to get a credit back for unauthorized or fraudulent transactions, here’s what you have to know:

You have to prove that you did not make that transaction you are disputing.

As a result, the burden is on you to show that you could not have made that purchase.

Second, unless the evidence is irrefutable, Direct Express has no way of knowing that you did not make that transaction.

Therefore, you should provide them as much evidence as possible to help you with your case.

For example, if the purchase was made in another state and there is no way you could have been in that state, show evidence why.

Also, if the purchase was made at a merchant you do not shop at or could not have shopped at, provide evidence.

Typically, you will be given 10 business days to submit the dispute form the date of your call.

Step 6 – Direct Express Dispute Resolution Department will Investigate

Next, the Direct Express Dispute Resolution Department will investigate your claim.

They will determine whether your claim is valid or not.

This will happen within 10 business days after you submit your form.

During this time, there will be no credit to your account.

If they find that your dispute is valid, they will make corrections promptly, including crediting your account with the missing funds.

Step 7 – Dispute Resolution Decision

After the 10 business days have expired, you will receive a decision from the Direct Express Dispute Resolution Department about your claim.

If they find that your dispute is valid, they will make corrections promptly, including crediting your account with the missing funds.

You will get a letter in the mail informing you of the credit applied to your account.

However, if they find that your claim is not valid, they will send you a letter explaining their reason for their decision.

However, sometimes, they may need more time beyond the 10 business days to continue with their investigation.

If they need more time, they will apply a temporary credit to your account as explained below.

Direct Express Fraud Investigation Summary

We hope this post on the Direct Express Fraud was helpful.

If you have further questions about Direct Express or Disability benefits, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles on Social Security and Direct Express, including:
Direct Express Investigation and Lawsuits
Direct Express Pending Deposit Explained
Second Stimulus Check for $600 Update
5 Reasons You Haven’t Received 2nd Stimulus Check
Direct Express Stimulus Check
Replacement Social Security card online

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