After a Probable Card Skimmer Incident, Snap and P-ebt Beneficiaries Are Asked to Watch Their Expenditures

This week, there may have been card skimming in Sabine Parish. The Department of Children and Family Services is asking people who get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Pandemic EBT benefits to check their purchases and think about changing their PINs.

At the moment, the theft of benefits seems to be an isolated case, but the investigation with law enforcement is still going on. This week, many people are buying holiday meals, so DCFS is telling people who use EBT to be careful to avoid having their cards used for fraud. These safety measures should have:

Change the number on the card that says “Personal Identification Number” (PIN)
Keeping track of what’s going on with your card with the LifeInCheck EBT app for your phone, and

They are using the card carefully, such as checking the card terminal for skimming equipment and hiding their PIN when making purchases. Federal food aid benefits cannot be replaced if they are lost or stolen, so cardholders must take all reasonable steps to keep their cards safe.

PINs for EBT cards should be numbers that can’t be guessed reliably by someone who wants to get benefits by cheating the system. PINs shouldn’t include the cardholder’s birthday, year of birth, last four digits of their Social Security number, last four digits of their card number, four consecutive digits (like 1234), four identical digits (like 1111), or numbers that start with 0. (e.g., 0542).

With the LifeInCheck EBT mobile app, users can check their card activity, such as the most recent transactions and their available balance, as well as change their PIN. Cardholders can also go to www.LifeInCheckEBT.com or call 1-888-997-1117 to get this information or reset their PIN.

Also, EBT cardholders and businesses should remember that Card Not Present transactions are not allowed unless done through authorized online retailers like Amazon Pantry and Walmart. For everything else, the card must be swiped by hand. If the magstripe doesn’t work, the cashier can type in the card number by hand. The cardholder must then type in their PIN on the keypad.

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