Scammers targeting SNAP recipients in Georgia, South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Social Services wants to alert the public about a phishing campaign involving texts claiming EBT benefit cards are locked.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 8:06 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Officials in both Georgia and South Carolina are warning the public about a phishing campaign involving texts claiming EBT benefit cards are locked.

Georgia Department of Human Services officials say they’ve received reports of phony text messages asking customers to share EBT card numbers and PIN numbers.

The scammers tell people their cards are locked and tell them to call a phone number to unlock it.

Officials in both states say it’s a scam; they don’t contact clients that way regarding locked cards.

You should not share your EBT card number or PIN number with anyone.

If you receive a text message asking to call an 877 number to unlock your EBT card, do not reply.

Officials reminded SNAP recipients to stay vigilant against unauthorized purchases using their EBT card. Here are some additional steps you can take to protect yourself from potential fraud:

  • Do not give your EBT card to non-authorized household members.
  • Do not provide your EBT card number or PIN number to anyone outside your SNAP household, as this would give an individual access to your benefits.
  • Your EBT card cannot be accessed without a PIN; 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 https://www.connectebt.com/scebtclient/index.jsp.
  • Routinely check the balance of your EBT card to ensure that there have been no unauthorized purchases. If you wish to check your balance online, make sure you are using Connect EBT which is supported by South Carolina’s EBT vendor, Conduent. You can register and create a client portal account on connectebt.com, or download the ConnectEBT mobile app on your iPhone or Android phone.
  • To report suspicious activity or SNAP fraud, the public is encouraged to make a report to the USDA Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-424-9121 or online here.

To stay on top of potential scams, visit USDA’s SNAP scam alert webpage at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/scam-alerts.