BEWARE: USDA investigating rise in stolen SNAP benefits from South Carolina families

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 6:26 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Scammers are stealing food from hungry South Carolina children.

We’ve learned from officials that the South Carolina Department of Social Services is seeing an increase in stolen SNAP benefits, which is money low income families can use to buy food.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture told FOX Carolina DSS alerted them to the problem today.

The spokesperson said they are in the very early stages of investigating, but there are things SNAP users can do in the meantime to keep their funds safe from scammers and thieves.

  • Keep your PIN secret. Do not share your PIN with anyone outside your household. Cover the keypad when you enter your PIN on a machine.
  • Check your EBT account regularly for unauthorized charges. If you notice any, change your PIN immediately to stop the thief from making any new purchases.
  • Check card reading machines to make sure there’s nothing suspicious overlaid or attached to the card swiper or keypad. The overlays can be difficult to detect but are often bigger than the original machine and may hide parts of the machine.

If you do see suspicious charges, DSS says to file a police report. This is important because the state will not replace those lost funds. The only way you could get them back is if the thief is caught.