Baltimore, MD –The Department of Human Services (DHS) today issued a warning for all holders of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to protect their personal information against benefit fraud. DHS issues EBT cards to SNAP and TCA recipients to access their benefits. According to DHS’s Inspector General, benefit fraud is on the rise in Maryland and other states. Fraudsters are using illegal electronic devices to ‘skim’ or ‘clone’ information from EBT cards.
Thieves then use the stolen information to withdraw cash or make purchases without the permission of the rightful benefit recipients.
While 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 that today by calling the number on the back of your EBT card. You
can also change your PIN online at www.connectebt.com/mdebtclient.
- If your benefits have already been compromised, call your local Department of Social Services to ‘freeze’ the use of your card This will prevent new 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, please be sure to create a unique PIN. Avoid reusing the old PIN.
- Immediately report any EBT fraud 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 the federal USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s SNAP SCAM Alerts.
- Click this link for additional steps that you can take to protect your EBT and other bank cards.