Some food stamp clients had some or all of their benefits stolen for the month, according to the Department of Public Health and Social Services of Guam Blog.
As a result, Public Health is warning Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients about fraud.
In a release, the department said it received several complaints from SNAP recipients that their electronic benefit transfer cards were allegedly used without their authorization or knowledge.
According to Public Health, it's suspected the unauthorized use of these EBT cards was a result of SNAP recipients' practice of manually keying in their EBT card numbers and PIN numbers when making purchases from authorized EBT retailers, or because they shared their SNAP information with other people. In some instances, the SNAP recipients' benefits for the whole month were wiped out, the release stated.
Swipe your card Guam
SNAP recipients are highly encouraged to swipe their EBT cards and not allow anybody to see or know their PIN when making transactions, the release stated. Card swiping versus manually keying the card numbers and PINs provides an additional level of security to protect the recipient's benefits.
Public Health also reminded SNAP recipients that "establishing credit accounts in exchange for cash or non-food items with any EBT retailer using or promising the benefits from the EBT card as payment" is potential fraud or trafficking.
An EBT retailer who accepts this credit transaction is considered a party to an illegal activity. SNAP recipients are not to sell, trade or give away their EBT cards and PINs, Public Health stated, and the department will refer those activities to the U.S. Office of the Inspector General for appropriate action, the release stated on Guam
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