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New EBT scam reports

11/8/2022 12:00:00 PM

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported individuals targeting recipients’ EBT card information through “phishing” and “card skimming” scams. Keep EBT card information private. Stolen SNAP and P-EBT benefits can’t be replaced.

Phishing: Individuals use phony text messages to get EBT card numbers and PINs to steal SNAP and P-EBT benefits. These are known as phishing scams and are a type of fraud.

Card skimming: Individuals put a device on a store’s card-swiping machine to copy EBT card information. Card skimming can happen to anyone who uses a credit, debit or EBT card.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has taken the following steps to help prevent EBT theft: 

  • Minnesota’s EBT vendor blocks common PINs such as 1-2-3-4
  • Minnesota EBT cards include a three-digit security code separate from the EBT card number
  • Participants are required to enter additional authentication to access account information when calling the EBT Call Center for inquiries on accounts.

SNAP and P-EBT recipients can take the following actions to help prevent EBT theft: 

  • Freeze EBT card purchases from the EBT Edge mobile app or online at if you lose your EBT card or suspect your EBT card was stolen.
  • Keep PINs secret; do not share PINs with anyone outside the household.
  • Cover the keypad when entering PINs on machines.
  • Do not provide your EBT card number or PIN by phone or text.
  • Check EBT accounts regularly for unauthorized charges; change PINs often to stop others from making any purchases.
  • Make sure nothing suspicious is attached to the card-swiping machines or keypads.

Learn more about national scam alerts at In cases of possible SNAP fraud, contact your local SNAP office.  

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