The Direct Express® Financial Education Center empowers beneficiaries with education, helping to improve the financial future of cardholders and their families during both good and challenging times.

In an effort to help prevent Direct Express® cardholders from falling victim to social media scams, a new module has been created to help educate users of these scams and how scammers may deceive them.

Social media has become part of the daily life of many people. A study showed that, in the United States, users spend more than 37 minutes daily on social media apps. With this rapid growth in popularity, these apps have become a place where criminals take advantage of individuals.  Apps often request a considerable amount of personal data, and they continuously provoke users to share photos, status updates, locations, and sensitive information, leaving many vulnerable.

Last year, more than 95,000 individuals were scammed out of a total of $770 million on social media. All age groups can be a target of online scams, yet the most vulnerable groups are young adults and people over 60. The lack of users’ knowledge about how to protect their personal information online has made identity theft and fraud easy. Common types of social media scams include impersonation, non-delivery of merchandise, and clickbait.

The Social Media Scams module helps cardholders recognize potential social media scams and their consequences, identifies  warning signs of scams and defines ways to avoid and protect themselves against  social media scams. Following the completion of the module, Direct Express® cardholders will be better prepared to protect themselves from scams, secure their data, and be alert to who they are dealing with online.

Cardholders can access the new module on the  Direct Express® Financial Education Center or Direct Express® cardholder website, from any computer or mobile device that has internet access. Modules and materials are available in both English and Spanish. Additional information about how to stay safe while online, is available within the Privacy & Security section.