Find out how you can protect your SNAP benefits.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently issued a warning to SNAP recipients that criminals are using card skimming and phishing to try and steal benefits. They are using phony text messages and devices on card readers to obtain their EBT card numbers and PINs. “These households rely on their monthly benefits to buy food for themselves and their families…what these thieves are doing is deplorable,” says Cindy Long, Administrator of the USDA Food and Nutrition Services.
The USDA encourages SNAP beneficiaries to take steps to protect themselves:
- Keep your PIN secret.
DO NOT share your PIN with anyone outside your household.
Cover the keypad when you enter your PIN on a machine.
- Check your EBT account regularly for unauthorized charges.
If you notice any, change your PIN immediately to stop the thief from making any new purchases. Contact your local SNAP office to report the activity.
- Check card reading machines to make sure there’s nothing suspicious overlayed or attached to the card swiper or keypad.
The overlays can be difficult to detect but are often bigger than the original machine and may hide parts of the machine.
You can learn more about SNAP scams by visiting USDA’s SNAP Scam Alerts page.
If you need additional food assistance, our food banks are here to help. Visit our “Get Help” page to find your local food programs.