High Tech Debit Cards + Low Tech Custodial Parents = Child Support Mess. Oops.

Ohio is pretty high tech. The child support enforcement agency doesn’t just mail out child support checks to custodial parents.

Instead it either directly deposits the monies into the parent’s bank account or adds the monies to a debit card for the parent.

They’ve been doing it that way for about eight years and it’s apparently worked pretty well.

Until at least one recipient recently received an e-mail, ostensibly from the contracting company that administers the program. The e-mail asked the woman to update her account information.

The e-mail looked perfectly genuine and legitimate to her. So she did as the e-mail instructed.

And after that, all the money was siphoned out of the account.

It was only $168 at the time. But her kids probably could have used that money.

Money they would have had the benefit of if the state had been lower tech and just mailed her a check.

The woman complained to the contracting company. But the company blamed her for being duped and refused to refund her money.

And the state, in effect, backed them up, reportedly maintaining that the agency warns custodial parents not to respond to e-mails about their accounts.

Low tech custodial parents duped. High tech scammers get a windfall. High tech state probably saves money.

Kids suffer …

Read more in this Athens [OH] Messenger article: Scammers targeting child support.