Alabama DHR cautions SNAP recipients against phone scammers

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Human Resources is issuing a warning as reports of thieves targeting recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with fraudulent phone calls have recently increased.

There has been an uptick in the number of fraudulent calls received by SNAP recipients recently. The scammers, possibly identifying themselves as either working for DHR or EBT Customer Service, are asking for high-value information such as EBT card numbers, PINs and other personal information to verify the clients’ EBT account in order to “unlock the account.” Neither DHR nor EBT Customer Service will ever call or text to solicit EBT card or personal information for any reason.

“These thieves are attempting to take advantage of those most in need of assistance by any means at their disposal,” Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner said. “It is vital for those receiving benefits to protect their personal information. DHR is providing a list of tips which can help keep this vital data out of the hands of these bad actors.”

DHR recommends these tips to protect against the scam:

  • Never provide personal information to an unfamiliar person or organization.
  • If a phone call seems like a scam, hang up without giving any information.
  • Beware that scammers often pressure victims to “act now!”
  • If an offer or claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not trust caller ID. Scammers can use “spoofing” technology to disguise their phone numbers.
  • Never give anyone the PIN number for your EBT card.

SNAP recipients who are unsure if a request for information is legitimate should contact their local DHR office at a verified phone number. Contact information is available at https://dhr.alabama.gov/county-office-contact.

The Food Assistance Division of DHR administers the SNAP program in Alabama. More information about the program can be found at https://dhr.alabama.gov/food-assistance.