Text with Caution: Direct Express Scam

A recent press release by the the Social Security Administration has warned consumers of a texting scam involving “Direct Express” cards. The Direct Express card is used by the U.S. Treasury as an alternative to direct deposit for those who do not have a bank account.

The texting scam attempts to dupe people into giving their Direct Express information to a third party. Targeted consumers will receive a text message from a party claiming to be Direct Express, and are directed to call a number provided. When the individual dials the number, a recorded voice states, “You are calling the Direct Express MasterCard verification service and due to an internal error and to avoid suspension of your card, push 1 to get verified.”

The message then continues by saying the card has been suspended. The caller is then told to enter their 16-digit Direct Express card number, expiration and personal identification number (PIN).

The Social Security Administration has released the following guidelines:

  • Do not call the phone number or divulge their card information.
  • Direct Express Customer Service’s phone number is 1-888-741-1115 and the beneficiary should contact them if they have concerns about the security of their Direct Express card.
  • If a beneficiary experiences an unauthorized withdrawal/transaction on their account, they should immediately contact Direct Express Customer Service to dispute the unauthorized transaction.
  • The Social Security Administration cannot assist with breaches of use of the card nor can they replace lost funds. The matter must be resolved with Direct Express Customer Service.


Please pass this information on to your family and friends.