Scammers Steal Millions in Food Stamps and Drain Bank Funds

Franki Chamaki/Unsplash

Scammers are stealing millions of dollars worth of food stamps, according to local officials.

The fraud happens silently and often without any knowledge on the victims’ part. The Scammers simply add an Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to card readers, and when a card is swiped by a hapless victim, the number is stolen, allowing them to drain their accounts.

According to NYC’s Department of Social Services, over 61,000 New Yorkers have submitted a claim of EBT fraud. The Agency recovered a total of $19 million in stolen funds.

According to the FBI, it is estimated that skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.

State Assemblymembers Zohran Mamdani and Jessica González-Rojas introduced a bill that would require the state to upgrade the EBT cards to use contactless payment technology. The bill is yet to be voted on.

“In the past six months, our office has helped more than 20 constituents recover over $15,000 in stolen SNAP/CA benefits that were taken from their EBT cards.” Mamdani wrote on X.

Victims should call their local SNAP office immediately to report their cards as stolen and to receive new cards. To get reimbursed for stolen EBT funds, residents must file claims online with the Department of Social Services or call 718-557-1399.

For those with EBT, the NY HRA has an app to track your balance and easily track your spending to spot a scam when it may happen. The App can be downloaded here.

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