For Immediate Release

September 15, 2015; 9:20am

DPHSS Release No. 2015-075

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Cards Transactions

The Director of the Department of Public Health and Social Services would like to announce   that there were several complaints received by the Department from SNAP recipients that their EBT cards were allegedly used without their authorization or knowledge.

It is suspected that the unauthorized use of these EBT cards were as a result of SNAP recipients’ practice of manually keying in their EBT card numbers and PIN numbers when making purchases from authorized EBT retailers (stores) or also as a result of sharing the information to other individuals.  On some occasions, the SNAP recipients’ benefits for the whole month were completely wiped out.

To avoid similar incidents, SNAP recipients are highly “ENCOURAGED” to swipe their EBT cards and not allow anybody to see or know their PIN numbers when making transactions form EBT retailers.  Card swiping versus manually keying the card numbers and PIN provides an additional level of security for protecting the recipient’s benefits.

Additionally, SNAP recipients are reminded that “establishing credit accounts in exchange for cash or non-food items with any EBT retailer using or promising the benefits from the EBT card as payment” is potential fraud or trafficking.  The EBT retailer who accepts this credit transaction is considered a party to an illegal activity.  The SNAP recipients are not to sell, trade or give away their EBT cards and PIN.  The Department shall refer these activities to the United States Office of the Inspector General for appropriate action.

Should you have any questions, please call Ms. Annie VT. Gozum Soto, Program Administrator of the Bureau of Economic Security at 735-7354.

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