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Target hack leaves thousands without access to child support payments, TANF

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)- A press release issued  on behalf of the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) late in the day, at 4:22 p.m. Friday, reports that the Target data breach has affected EPPICards used at Target during that time period.

These cards include child support payments and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits.  A total of 3,986 EPPICards were affected during the Target breach between November 27 and December 15, 2013.

Customer names, debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards may be among the information compromised, a representative said.

One way in which these cards are utilized by parents is that a child support payment is made to the state and the funds are made available in the account, which associated with a card. That card can be used at Target to purchase items.

The vendor, Xerox, was made aware of the data compromise and blocked all affected cards on the first of the year. The press release stated that card holders no longer had use of their cards or access to their funds as of that date.

However, replacement cards weren’t mailed until today, according to the press release.

After multiple calls and emails to the VDSS, spokesperson Joron Mooreclear clarified that there are almost 4,000 people without access to money that would help feed their families.

“Unfortunately, yes. Clients will not have access to any funds that are typically accessed with their EPPI card,” she wrote in an email response.

CBS 6 requested an on camera interview with DSS regarding the situation. We were told no one was available. We asked why the department waited until Friday afternoon to send the release, when the affected cards were blocked on January 1st.

We were issued a statement from VDSS Commissioner Margaret Ross Schultze, which in addition to the details already released earlier in the day, stated that “We realize this may create a hardship for families and individuals that rely on these funds and have been assured that Xerox is working diligently to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible.”

“If clients are in need of additional assistance until they receive their card, they may call 2-1-1 VIRGINIA.”

Schultze said that DSS was made aware of this issue by the Virginia Department of Treasury on Thursday, January 2.  Since that time, the DSS has been working with Treasury to confirm the course of action to be taken by Xerox.

She said that when all facts were verified, the DSS issued a press release in the interest of reaching as many clients as possible.

Although the statement claims that Xerox notified individuals who did not have access to funds, Jessie Johnson said she never received any notice, and had to call the number on her EPPICard herself.

“You can’t talk to anybody,” she said.

Johnson said she uses the card to pay her monthly rent, which is due this Sunday. She said right now, she’s going to have to find other ways to pay the bills.

A social media post on Facebook led to many replies from people who said they have been affected by this situation. Several people said that they didn’t know what had happened.

Sholonda Bibbs said that she was not notified, and that “Didn’t get my child support direct deposit today.”

Jessie Johnson said that she was told it will take between seven and ten days to get a new card. “What do we do in the mean time?” she asked.

Horace Anderson said he “went two buy some food card,” and the card was declined.
I hope this gets fixed soon. Just had 2 submit lots of personal info. 2 get recertified,” he wrote on Facebook.

VDSS customers will not be responsible for any fraud that occurs due to the theft of their information. Customers can call EPPICard Customer Service at 800-961-8423 to obtain additional information.

We will provide continuing updates on WTVR.com. 

18 comments

  • troy

    boo hoo,cry me a river.My welfare is not working so I cannot buy things that have nothing to do with supporting my child,some nerve even posting this story.Here’s an idea,sleep and marry a man you intend to be with,have children when you can support them and stay outta my check.thanks

  • M.L. Adams

    “…Jessie Johnson said that she was told it will take between seven and ten days to get a new card. “What do we do in the mean time?” she asked…”

    And the answer was???

    Come on, people…my high school journalism teacher would have given you an ‘incomplete,’ turning in an article like that!

  • sally

    Child support has nothing to do with welfare that is money owned to take care of children when one spouse choose to leave and people do need their money to take care of their children this is horrible.

    • athynz

      Because Target sell groceries and possibly the Target is closer to their home than the Food Lion. Did you think before posting or just wanted to b*tch about people who need temprary assistance?

  • Ashley

    This card is not used for just TANF and child support. This card is also used for unemployment and state employees who don’t have a bank account or choose to use this card instead of an account. So you ignorant people need to research what the card is actually used for before posting ridiculous comments.

    • hjriver

      It appears you know a lot about the handout money. Personally I wouldn’t have a clue as to what any of it is as I worked and provided for myself, my wife and my children. I wish I had known about the freebies a long time ago.

  • tommy

    Nobody is talking about you people on unemployment for 2 years,I mean thats another issue all together.Thankfully obama will extend it so you can sit on your but for more time sucking up my tax money.like I said cry me a river.Might want to plan A little before having 3 kids with three fathers,is that you?then I am talking about you,if not then move on your using up bandwidth that I also pay for.

  • 40hrslave

    its a real hoot how service workers dis welfare collectors when they are 1 step away themselves.got a problem with that 03% of your check going to people that need help?

  • Clay Morrow

    I don’t begrudge the folks using the government cards. I am jealous myself. Just that they won’t get off their Iphones in line, they take forever to get the card out because their custom nails are too long, rude as heck to the cashier, perfume is nauseating, and they tie up the lottery counter afterwards. Then their kids throw their Funion bags and orange soda cans down in the parking lot.

  • Michelle

    This is a RACIST WORLD and comments like this proves I’m Right everyday. The world will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, Change that I do know. I just love being right so continue people with your comments.

  • Clay Morrow

    I am sorry the truth hurts Michelle, only a blind person would not see these comments are based upon reality.

  • Ashley

    I have an iPhone and I have an eppicard because I am a state worker who chose to get paid this way. And honestly, I probably make more money than you do Clay. You people are ignorant and racist. How dare you! And for your information, the only government benefits that are on this card is TANF. And that must be laid back. So fools, your money is not being used. That’s EBT, WIC and Medicaid and NONE of these are used on this card. Stupidity at its best.

    • Ashley

      Excuse me, TANF is paid back, not laid back. I needed to correct my typo before you stupid people try correcting me.

  • myrabroussard

    Everyone who has one absent parent, has their child support whether its gov issued or not, payments made through DHS. That way, the state can keep track of who doesn’t pay child support so that their drivers licenses can be suspended, and if they get pulled over for traffic violation, can get held in jail until they can go to court to make arrangements to pay child support. That means black white Asian etc.,,, Last time I checked, none payment of child support was non-discriminatory.

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