• Report: #976366
Complaint Review:

Direct Express Debit Card/ Comerica Bank

  • Submitted: Fri, November 30, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, May 21, 2014

  • Reported By: Handywoman911 — Chipley Florida United States of America
Direct Express Debit Card/ Comerica Bank
po box 245998 Internet United States of America

Direct Express Debit Card/ Comerica Bank Direct Express tried to COVER-UP THERE COMPUTERS and RECORDS BEING HACKED! Internet

*Consumer Comment: me too

*UPDATE Employee ..inside information: Clarification

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Response to Direct Express being hacked

*Author of original report: UPDATE: More BS! More Government Corruption!

*Consumer Comment: The same thing happend to me

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Right after my Social Security deposit Wednesday night , on the morning of Friday  November 30, 2012 I received a low balance alert in my email and immediately called Direct Express, KNOWING I had not used my card.  After logging in and being told by the computer my account didn't exist I waited for a Customer service Representative (CSR) in which a human came on posing as a machine reading a script about calling later that computers were down.  All day I called back and they would give different excuses.  Computer is down.  Computer is UPDATING the system.  Computer has FROZE.  

I can only pull up half a page, so call back.  One CSR told me that my account was hacked at 1155 Boul Rene but couldn't tell what state because only half the screen showed up.  Another as much as told me that that night CANADA had hacked my account  as well as many more of there card holders.  She said last night it was Canada but the time before it was India and the time before that it was Japan.  After talking to her and being on hold for almost an hour, she basically told me I had to hang up and I finally took the hint. I continued to call time after time hearing different times to call back and reasons as to why the computers were down. . [continued below]....

After being blown off and it being Friday afternoon, I went to the Social Security Administration to see if they could help since I signed up for the card there and even handed the representative THERE pamphlet on it and its SAFETY.  The only thing Direct Express told them or was authorized to tell them was that the deposit was received so then Social Security couldn't help.

After having NO answers all day and no help from Social Security, by late that evening which is now, the computers were all back up, I called back only to conveniently be disconnected when my words became accusations that THEY were hacked and I wasn't.  EVERYONE acted as if there were NEVER any computers down, made me feel as if I was crazy until I UPDATED them as to everyone I had spoken to that day and what had been promised and said. That evening also I was finally able to actually go online and SEE for myself my account history.  I used as a reference to the lady in the dispute department that one of the three transactions did not correlate with hers.  

Online it had a fee of $26.(Some odd cent)++. for a international purchase fee, but there's said $17.++  When I brought that to her attention she apologized, and said she scrolled down and found a seventeen dollar and a NEW $8.++ fee and said together they equal the $26. ++ transaction.  Needless to say AGAIN, after being on hold I again was disconnected awaiting my questionnaire to begin the dispute process.  Lastly I called back and finished the questionnaire and am awaiting the papers.  I immediately tried to pull up my account to write my dispute and put it in writing, only to find out that only minutes after my LAST call to them, I was NO longer able to pull up my account history online.  ONLY that the account had been closed and it was overdrawn over seventeen dollars.

Facts:  I tried to call them to let them know my account had been compromised and had false charges on it, ONLY to find out that my account had ALREADY been flagged for having as they put it, "Questionable charges," that they PAID and then would have contacted me.  The one CSR referenced the flagging when stating that CANADA had struck the night before. Leading me to believe that they realized THERE computers had been hacked after several complaints all stemming back to the same time/date and place.


3. Fact. The MAIN Charge was $869.47 at an ATM with the second transaction being $3.00 for the ATM transaction fee.  First off I know of NO ATM that would allow that LARGE amount of money to be dispensed at one time, not  to mention the odd amount and then to include an additional $3.00 fee and international fees as well.

4.  According to Direct Express themselves, the card will NOT allow your account to be overdrawn at an ATM.  If the money is NOT there, it will simply DENY the transaction.  They allowed and PAID OUT $869.47 when in fact I did not have that much in my account allowing my account to be in the negative.

5. Fact  I have not used this card online for any purchases at all and it stays in my possession at all times and the only place I keep my pin number is in my mind.

6. I find it funny that THEY were aware of these bad transactions before I was. and MOST companies would have NOT paid them if they found them suspicious AT THAT TIME!  Direct Express only became suspicious after other card members made complaints that brought this to there attention and they saw that THEY were the COMMON DENOMINATOR!

7.  I also find it suspicious that if in fact some one hacked MY account, why were they able to OVERRIDE Direct Expresses BLOCK they have about OVERDRAFT.and were able to get money that was not even in the account.

8. Funny how when the "computers were "down" the CSR  told me about Canada hacking everyone the night before and AFTER the computers were up, I find out that the transaction on my account came out of CANADA?

9.  These transactions were basically an ATM withdrawal and then its fees and international fees.  The address given on the transaction was 1155 boul rene -levesqu montreal canada which when Googled goes back to a Company that is called Seyam Group International which when I called one time a half a*s speaking Indonesian man acted as if he did not comprehend English well and just kept saying I have the wrong place and acted as if they do not deal with any money period and even said the phone number I dialed that I repeated back to him was NOT that companies number.  The second time I called I got a french woman that hung up on me when I ask did she speak English and times in between I couldn't get through.   I also noticed that the company has the same web sites but one will say over 200 employees and another three employees.  The information alone on the company itself describes it as being a Pipe Company for construction. *  They deal in making plastics??????

9.  Who ever made this transaction did so by duplicating a card for himself.  This SCAM is BIG!  NO ONE is going to go to all this trouble just to hack lil ole MY account.  DIRECT EXPRESS is the company that was hacked and they know it.  All these little things add up and point the finger back at them.

In the meantime, here I sit, Penny-less.  My bills not being paid, no money for grocery's this month, my truck STILL remains in the shop where I have no money to pay for the repairs already made, and God knows how the animals will be fed.  All this hardship and Direct Express knows THEY ARE TO BLAME! Now I sit and wait for them to finish there "investigation," which normally would take 45 days but since it is international it could be as long as NINETY days.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/30/2012 07:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/direct-express-debit-card-comerica-bank/internet/direct-express-debit-card-comerica-bank-direct-express-tried-to-cover-up-there-computers-976366. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

me too

AUTHOR: ohmetoo! - (USA)

 This is going on with me right now . They I called them 3 days ago to check my card. The machine told me to stay on the line there was a message about me account. When I talked to them they said my account is locked. And they told me because of a hacker as well. Ive been sending documents faxing them stuff for days because they need to prove its me before theyll tell me anything else. Ive faxed the same papers in for 3 days now over n over because there never good enough on there end. Ive been trying to call them for 8 hours straight not getting through my check was supposed to be deposited last night now I have no food I cant pay rent and all that awesome stuff...I have no idea where my money is or whats going on

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#2 UPDATE Employee ..inside information


AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

I am an employee of a company who handles calls for Direct Express debit card services.

As such I can inform you that:

A.  Comerica Bank is responsible for a lack of security with cards that are issued through Direct Express.

B.  CSR's are not allowed to provide any information other than "Your card has been identified as having suspicious activity, as a precaution we would like to coordinate a replacement... If you do not wish to cancel and reorder this card at this time, I should inform you that this card will automatically be cancelled and a new card will be sent out on (insert date).

To hear that a CSR told you that "your card was hacked" sounds like a pretty big stretch.  There is a large emphasis to not say anything that would cause a cardholder to believe that their personal information was compromised. 

However this is a common occcurence, it seems like every month or two we hear about "compromised cards", large amounts of card information that are at risk for being stolen.  How much more information than that do they have?  I don't know.

C.  The script that we use when "Computers are being updated" usually just mean that a software,network, or system crash has occured and we are unable to pull up account information because our computers are not working properly.  This isn't just Direct Express and this can happen at any time.  Large amounts of employees use the same software to pull up account information of cardholders and if that software crashes, we still have to take your call.  Instead of causing a panic (some people will somehow assume that their money is lost if we cant access their account) we use the excuse that our "systems are being updated."

D.  Most of this has little to do with the government.  Direct Express is a service that the government uses to save money, and in turn Direct Express makes a lot of money off of that.  However even customer service representatives like myself do not work for Direct Express, we simply work for call centers that are allocated contracts to handle calls for Direct Express debit cards.  Direct Express cards contain a lot of hidden fees, and I for one cannot understand why people wouldn't simply have their funds direct deposited into their own checking account.

E. Any information about "Canada" and specific companies that are using your card information sound pretty bogus to me.  We have a lot of "compromised card" situations and the idea that some specific company in Canada is just continually stealing government benefit cards and taking money off of them sounds farfetched at the very least.

F. These cards are considered prepaid debit cards, but they can be overdrafted.  In fact you can simply overdraft your card by using an atm to check your balance over and over again (as long as that atm charges a fee to do so).  Also there are atms that allow you to take out large sums of money, and bank institutions can do teller withdraws from the card as well.

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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to Direct Express being hacked

AUTHOR: Elizabeth - (United States of America)

I think you may be correct that it was Direct Express that was hacked and not your card number stolen somehow from you. On November 1st 2012 I was unable to access my SSI Direct Express account by phone and directed to their customer service number by a recording. I tried all day to call but was never able to get past their automated service menu to an actual person. The next morning at the local AS office I was informed that my deposit had been made and given another number to contact them with. on my cell I was able to contact an actual customer service person and was informed that almost 600 dollars of my 700 dollar deposit had been withdrawn a few minutes after the deposit by a company in South Africa. The customer service person was nice enough to stay on the phone with me while I drove to a cash machine. She then unfroze my account that was frozen right after the South Africa withdrawal so I could withdraw the 100 dollar balance from the atm and cancelled the card. She gave me the tracking number of the withdrawal and international money transfer fee and said she would mail me the dispute paperwork from their fraud division. I received the paperwork in about 4 days. I filled it out and penned a letter expressing my unbelief that anyone who handled the SSI deposit and withdrawal would believe that a person on  SSI would spend  85% of their total monthly income on goods or services from a third world country on another continent. I expressed concern that this transaction was not flagged before the money was withdrawn. In less then 2 weeks my money was refunded to my new card. I always thought that the card number had been somehow copied at one of the few point of sale perchases I used it for but now I'm thinking that may be false and it was their security problem and not mine.I really feel for you. I have wondered many times how I would have made it for the 3 weeks it took to have the money refunded had I not been lucky enough to have someone I could borrow money from. When your total monthly income is so small these people do not realize that you can actually become homeless within 3 weeks. These banks that handle social security  debt cards need to keep in mind not just the large amount of money they are making handling these deposits but also the very small amount of deposit going into the individual accounts and make policy accordingly. They can and should make it a policy to make immediate restitution to these account in this type of situations and investigate the fraud after. they can always  deduct the funds from a future deposit if the consumer is found to be fraudulent. They have been given a large responsibility handling these deposits and should  act  like they are interested in the welfare of the card holders at all times.
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#4 Author of original report

UPDATE: More BS! More Government Corruption!

AUTHOR: Handywoman911 - (United States of America)

I called them on this past Monday to see had they received my dispute and of course was told nothing was in the computer, they were "backed up" in the dispute department (GO FIGURE?  WONDER WHY?LOL) and that I cannot be connected to that department that they do not take phone calls.  That was not true however since it was by a phone call that I had spoken to that department to begin with to get this thing started. I was however able to find out that the new card that they were suppose to send me had not even been sent out.  Prior, on my first experience with them, they said they would pay to fed ex my card then later recanted that so I settled with them sending it regular mail and had to also argue as they initially were going to charge me to replace it.  Again on Monday the woman was going to charge me for the card and to fed ex it.  Only after more arguing they did agree to waive the fee and send it two day express at there expense since they failed to send it out the day "the computers were down."  Nevertheless, argument after argument after argument.  They prey on passive people that accepts there BS!

And then I had the pleasure of dealing with them TODAY! For obvious business reasons, I need verification that my account had been hacked since my bills were not being paid.  I was told by the representative, then her supervisor, that the ONLY thing they can send me is a copy of my account history! I was repeatedly told I could not speak to her boss but her boss was Brittany.  After more arguing I was then sent to the Customer Service Representative for "LEVEL 2."  Initially she said she could send a copy of the dispute papers that I had filled out with them and then after being on hold forever, she came back and recanted what she had said and said once again she can only send a copy of the account history.  After arguing more she agreed to send a BLANK dispute packet that would NOT contain any of the information I had written in it.  It would be just a blank form. Of course it was only after much questioning that I understood the packet would be a BLANK packet.  She too expected to confuse me and be happy waiting for a copy of MY packet, only to find out it is the original BLANK packet they send out with all disputes.  

All this hush hush, BS cover up BS, no one being on the same page.  One day there is this department the next that department does not exist.  One day you can speak to this department the next day you can't.  One day the computers are down period, then they are updating them then the computers were never down at all. Not to mention we get to even take there word for it that our accounts were even hacked to begin with.  What are they doing with OUR money?  I am so sick of them and dealing with them I don't know what to believe.  My next check is being deposited into my personal bank.  At least with them there is such thing as "Customer Service," because they have an interest in KEEPING our business.  They are not part of the government BS that has only there interest at heart.

As far as what we can do about this.  I was told we can file a former complaint to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau CFPB, but off course this is GOVERNMENT operated.  Where are the checks and balances when it comes to all this government corruption?
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#5 Consumer Comment

The same thing happend to me

AUTHOR: Ms. P.o''d - (United States of America)

The same exact thing happend to me the same day and time, I also contacted Direct Express and they said tje money was taking from an ATM in Canada also. They are saying it could take up to 45days to get the money back. I was wondering what porgress you have mad. Im ready to get a lawyer and contact the media. I am about to be evicted in 5 days if i dont get some help. I am so upsetplesde if you have any head way let know
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