El Dorado County agency: Scam targets EBT users
November 14, 2017
Users of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards could be at risk of a text message scam, according to the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).
Although no specific instances of the scam have been reported in El Dorado County, other California counties have reported instances.
EBT users receive a text message regarding their public assistance benefit. The text instructs them to call a number, which prompts them to an automated system. The system states that the user must "register their EBT card" or they won't be able to access their benefits.
Scam victims in some California counties have entered their EBT card number, PIN and social security number, leaving themselves open to potential identify theft or benefits being stolen, according to HHSA.
Programs targeted by the scammers appear to include CalWORKs and CalFresh, though other public assistance programs may also be targeted, HHSA warned.
EBT users should safeguard their personal information, account passwords and other private information.
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HHSA offered the following tips to ensure that your personal information has not been compromised:
Know who you share information with;
Store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially your social security number;
Ask questions before deciding to share your personal information;
And maintain appropriate security on your electronic devices.
For additional information about scams involving public assistance EBT cards, visit the California Department of Social Services' website at http://www.ebtproject.ca.gov/ClientInformation/scams.shtml.
For more information about CalWORKs, CalFresh or other public assistance programs in El Dorado County, visit http://www.edcgov.us/hhsa or call 530-573-3200 in South Lake Tahoe or 530-642-7300 in Placerville.