Baltimore, MD –The Department of Human Services (DHS) today issued a warning to all Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cardholders to protect their personal information from benefits fraud. DHS issues EBT cards to SNAP and TCA recipients to access their benefits. According to the DHS Inspector General, benefit fraud is on the rise in Maryland and other states. Fraudsters use illegal electronic devices to “skim” or “clone” information from EBT cards.
Thieves then use the stolen information to withdraw money or make purchases without the permission of the legitimate recipients.
Although DHS is not able to replace stolen Federal Public Assistance benefits, the Department encourages all EBT cardholders to take the following steps to protect their benefits and personally identifying information from theft:
- Change your PIN often. You can do this today by calling the number on the back of your EBT card. You
can also change your PIN code online at www.connectebt.com/mdebtclient.
- If your benefits have already been compromised, call your local Department of Social Services to “freeze” your card use. This will prevent further unauthorized transactions on your card.
- If your card has been stolen or lost, you must call the Maryland EBT Customer Call Center at 1-800-997-2222 to order a replacement card. When activating the replacement card, be sure to create a unique PIN code. Avoid reusing the old PIN.
- Report any EBT fraud immediately to your local police department and submit a copy of the police report to your local department of social services.
- Stay up to date with SNAP SCAM alerts from the USDA’s Federal Food and Nutrition Service.
- Click this link for additional steps you can take to protect your EBT and other bank cards.