The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced in the last few hours that the recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), who have been victims of theft of their SNAP cards, will receive their money back so that they do not fall into risk of food deficit at home.
The Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card is the way the SNAP beneficiaries get their funds every month. This card works the same as a debit or credit card, and its use is simple. Beneficiaries can use it at any establishment that is part of the SNAP program, such as supermarkets, grocery stores and local markets. But, since they work the same way, they could also be victim of fraud.
How a SNAP beneficiary could be victim of fraud
The EBT Card is a valuable tool to improve the quality of life of needy families, but that won’t stop criminals to try to commit fraud. Some fraudulent practices include selling the card or exchanging benefits for cash, instead of using them for food. These illegal activities harm those who really need the support of the program.
Some frequent scams to EBT cards include:
- Unauthorized use: If someone else has access to your EBT card and uses it without your consent to make purchases or cash withdrawals.
- Card cloning or skimming: Criminals could try to copy the EBT card information to create a replica and use it instead of the legitimate card.
- Theft of personal information: If someone gains access to your personal information, such as your Social Security number or EBT card PIN, they could make fraudulent transactions with your account.
- Illegal purchases: Using the EBT card to purchase items not allowed by the program, such as luxury goods, electronic products or unauthorized services.
Pennsylvania to replace the stolen SNAP benefits: How to get your money back
The Pennsylvania DHS has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative to aid recipients of the SNAP, whose benefits have been electronically stolen. This program empowers eligible SNAP recipients, whose benefits were unlawfully taken after October 1, 2022, to swiftly replace their lost benefits using federal funds provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023.
If you are a SNAP recipient who has fallen victim to electronic benefit theft, for the DHS has streamlined the process of replacing these stolen benefits. The first thing to do is to call to Pennsylvania’s EBT Recipient Hotline, at 1-888-EBT-PENN (1-888-328-7366), and report that you’ve discovered unusual or illegal activity with your EBT card. After that, the officers will guide through the process for the money replacement.
Take in account that reports of benefit theft must be done within 60 calendar days from the discovery of the situation. You’re eligible for the replacement if you were victim of cards skimming, cloning, or phising cams.