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Stolen EBT Card? Here’s What You Should Do

Stolen EBT Cards
Stolen EBT Cards continues to increase. (Photo: Social Services Agency)

The use of skimming devices to steal EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card information is becoming increasingly common across the United States.

Stolen EBT Cards

Stolen EBT Cards continues to increase. (Photo: Social Services Agency)

Stolen EBT Cards

Fraudsters place the devices on a retailer’s point-of-sale machine, and they can be challenging to detect as they blend in with the machine. Millions of dollars worth of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits have been stolen using this method. Unfortunately, EBT cards do not have the same level of protection as credit or debit cards, and state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program agencies provide no help or reimbursement for victims.

One TikTok user, Trinity Kirkland, recently fell victim to this scam. After her EBT card was refilled, she went to buy groceries only to discover that someone had almost emptied her account. Kirkland, a mother of three children with sensory disabilities, was supposed to have $900 for the month to feed her family, according to a published article in Yahoo News.

However, she was left with only $3 for the rest of the month. When Kirkland contacted the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services for assistance, she was told there was nothing they could do besides reporting the incident to the fraud department.

READ ALSO: Free Admission With EBT Card Holder This 2023 – Here’s What You Need To Know

Replacing EBT Cards

Moreover, there may be some relief in sight for victims of EBT card skimming. President Biden’s $1.7 trillion federal omnibus spending bill requires states to replace EBT card benefits stolen after Oct. 1, 2022, through September 2024. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service division has received submissions of state plans for reimbursement of stolen EBT benefits from all state and territory SNAP agencies.

The USDA has urged SNAP recipients to take steps to help prevent card skimming. They should keep their PIN secret and not share it with anyone outside the household. Additionally, they should log into their account regularly to check for any unauthorized activity and inspect card reading machines for any suspicious overlays or attachments on the card swiper or keypad.

The use of skimming devices to steal EBT card information is a serious issue that affects some of the most vulnerable members of society. While there is currently no reimbursement or assistance available to victims from state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program agencies, the federal government’s planned intervention may offer some relief. In the meantime, SNAP recipients should take steps to protect themselves from falling victim to this scam.

READ ALSO: Vulnerable Families In NYC Left Hungry And Helpless As EBT Fraud Grows

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