Louisiana residents who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and utilize EBT cards as a method of using those benefits need to be aware of a possible scam that could interrupt their benefits. The Department of Children and Family Services which oversees SNAP and EBT in Louisiana says there has been a compromise in the security reported with the use of those benefits and cards.

dcfs.louisiana.gov
dcfs.louisiana.gov
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The initial report of a security breach came from Sabine Parish. That's in western Louisiana along the Toledo Bend Reservoir.  DCFS received a report earlier in the week that an EBT card had been "hacked" by a card skimmer. That's an electronic device that reads and records the data on the card's magnetic strip.

However just yesterday DCFS received a report of a similar crime that was committed in the Lake Charles area. The Lake Charles victim reported via KPLC Television that her card had been compromised and was used to make unauthorized purchases from a Walmart Store in Bentonville Arkansas.

There have also been reports of EBT cards and SNAP benefits being skimmed off of accounts in Louisiana. Those ill-gotten gains are then used to purchase items in other states like Texas and Arkansas. So, there is a need for you to take preventative measures to ensure the security of your account and your benefits.

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Spencer Platt, Getty Images
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DCFS released this statement about the scam:

Given that many people are doing holiday meal shopping this week, DCFS encourages EBT cardholders to take reasonable steps to prevent fraudulent activity on their cards.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
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Basically, they are asking you to monitor your account more closely over the next few weeks. You should verify each purchase that shows up on your account as a purchase that was made by an authorized user of the card.  DCFS provided these other measures you might consider as well. 

  • Strengthening the card’s Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • Monitoring card activity using the LifeInCheck EBT mobile app.
  • Being cautious when using the card, including checking out the card terminal for potential skimming equipment and shielding their PIN entry from view when making purchases.

An important thing to remember about SNAP benefits, they are NOT reimbursable. In other words, if they are stolen then they are gone so you should go to great lengths to protect your card and the security measures needed to protect your benefits from those who would do you and your family harm.

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