TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Mary Dykstra tried for weeks to get her mother’s social security benefits back after some crook hacked her Comerica debit card and spent her money in multiple states.

She says the bank told her the charges – some made in California – looked legitimate. But hours after she turned to Better Call Behnken for help, Comerica Bank – which manages the Debit Express MasterCard her mom’s benefits are sent to – had a change of heart.

Days later, more than $5,000 is back on her mom’s card.

“I’m sorry I had to go to this length to do it, but if this is happening to anyone else, Better Call Behnken,” she said.

For 4.5 million Americans, the Direct Express MasterCard is their only way to access their social security and veteran benefits. The government no longer issues paper checks and distributes benefits through direct deposit or the Direct Express MasterCard. For those without a bank account, the card is the only option.

Comerica Bank, which has the government contract to operate the card, did not return calls from Better Call Behnken. A spokesman for the Social Security Administration said he would look into two complaints from the Tampa Bay area. Media reports from across the country tell of similar horror stories, and some federal legislators have launched inquiries.

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