Comerica scrambles to address fraud in prepaid benefits program
Comerica Bank has shut down a component of its prepaid card program for federal benefits recipients after a recent spate of fraud cases.
Fraudsters have exploited security flaws in Comerica's Cardless Benefit Access Service to drain accounts belonging to federal beneficiaries, including retirees who receive Social Security benefits and veterans who rely on disability payments to make ends meet.
The service, which Comerica says is now discontinued, was part of the Direct Express program, a partnership between the Texas bank and the U.S. government that allows users without bank accounts to access their funds through prepaid cards.
The Cardless Benefit Access Service allows consumers to withdraw funds if they have lost their card, even when they are away from their home state. But in hundreds of cases the program allegedly dispensed funds to fraudsters, who had previously gained access to cardholder data and posed as the benefits recipients.