Most people think of identity theft as a problem only when they're using their credit cards. But if you're a parent receiving Pasadena child support payments on an EPPICard, you should be aware that identity theft issues can happen when you least expect it.
In early December, almost 5,000 parents in California had their EPPICards deactivated as a precaution against fraud. A security breach at a supermarket chain was the reported reason for the deactivation. Although deactivating the cards temporarily left many families without a vital source of funds, it was necessary to prevent widespread fraud. Fortunately, however, it appears that the families that were affected have since received replacement cards and can now access their payments as needed.
This isn't the first time California has run into trouble with child support security. In March 2012, it was reported that four computer storage devices containing personal information for roughly 800,000 people in California's child support system were lost by IBM and Iron Mountain Inc. The data included names and Social Security numbers for both adults and children.
To safeguard yourself against identity theft, it's a good idea to request a copy of your own credit report at least once per year to check for any errors or suspicious information. Parents can also contact one of the three major credit bureaus to see if a credit file exists in their minor child's name. Since children can't open credit accounts, a file won't exist unless the child is the victim of identity theft.
If you ever have your EPPICard lost or stolen, call the toll-free Customer Service number at 1-877-777-1617 for assistance. Your account is FDIC insured, but you should report the issue as soon as possible to prevent any unauthorized use of your funds. If needed, you can check the transaction history of your card through the California EPPICard website. Transactions are displayed immediately.
How Can We Help?
If you are in need of legal representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our team of skilled attorneys can handle a variety of issues of importance to parents, including how divorce law in Pasadena affects child custody, visitation, and child support concerns.