Protect Your Benefits: Beware of New EBT Card Scam

Project Bread

Updates SNAP

ATTENTION SNAP RECIPIENTS

A new EBT card scam has data thieves stealing information on EBT cards. Scammers are skimming SNAP, P-EBT, and cash benefits from accounts.


What is Card Skimming?

A new EBT card scam called “EBT Skimming” is affecting EBT card holders throughout the country. Scammers are using advanced technology to copy your EBT card information from point-of-sale machines, the device that you swipe your EBT card through. These devices are so small and undetectable that most stores are unaware of them, and they’re also hard to find.

Data thieves are then able to use this stolen information to make counterfeit cards and purchase items with your benefits. Their purchases are too small for DTA to flag them for suspicious behavior.

To protect your EBT card, DTA strongly recommends that all EBT card owners re-PIN their cards every month to protect their benefits.


How to protect your EBT Benefits from Skimming

DTA has said the best way to protect your EBT benefits —  including SNAP, P-EBT, and cash benefits —   is to re-PIN your card every month, after you receive your payment. Updating your PIN will make it more difficult for scammers to steal both SNAP and cash benefits.

You can refer to the graphic on how to reset your EBT PIN, available here in both English and Spanish. The directions are also below.

How to rePIN your EBT card in English
How to rePIN your EBT card in Spanish

How to Reset Your PIN

In order to reset your EBT PIN, you must call the EBT Cardholder Customer Service line at 800-997-2555. This is the phone number on the back of your EBT card. This phone number is the only way to re-PIN your card, and DTA suggests you re-PIN a few days before you receive your monthly benefits.

Here is how to re-PIN your EBT card:

  1. Call 800-997-2555

  2. Select your language

  3. Enter the account number on the front of your card

  4. Press 2

  5. Enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number (SSN). If you don’t have a SSN, enter the last 4 digits of the 99 number given to you by DTA

  6. Enter your date of birth in this format: MM/DD/YYYY (two digits for month, two digits for day, four digits for year)

  7. Enter your new 4 digit PIN. And re-enter your new PIN to confirm.

 

DTA has sent out texts to clients with EBT cards, and many have already reset their PINs. You may have received one of these texts recently. DTA offices and other locations are also putting up flyers to inform the public of this new scam. Keep in mind that even if your EBT card information is stolen, changing your PIN is the best way to protect your benefits. Changing your PIN every month makes it more difficult for scammers to keep using your card.

Change your EBT PIN every month before you get your new benefits.
Change your EBT PIN every month before you get your new benefits.

What if your EBT benefits have been stolen or you suspect fraudulent activity?

As of right now, DTA doesn’t have the authority to replace stolen SNAP benefits, which is why it’s important to do your best in protecting them right now.

DTA has an announcement on their website with more information on how scammers steal information, and how to report fraudulent activity.

Visit Mass.gov/ProtectYourEBT for more information.

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