The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has warned that online criminals are targeting people using EPPICards which channel child support payments in the US.
Large numbers of emails have been spammed out to EPPICard users telling them that there is a problem with the payment service, which is used in 15 states.
Card holders following the link in the email are directed to a phishing site which collects their log-in details and then tries to drain the accounts.
"This is yet another attempt by cyber-criminals to take advantage of technology to gain access to your personal information," said FBI special agent Richard Kolko.
"We are asking citizens to be alert and not to fall victim to these schemes. If you receive one of these messages, please report it to IC3."
A second set of bogus emails asks users to complete an online survey, after which they will receive 'credits' to their EPPICard account. This requires that they fill in their account details, which are then harvested by the scammers.
The IC3 issues national alerts such as this only if it believes that there is a serious risk of widespread fraud. This is the first time that EPPICard users have been targeted in this way.
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