Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Aug. 11, 2020

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SNAP recipients being targeted by scammers


The USDA on Tuesday warned Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants to be on the lookout for potential scammers using COVID-19 to steal personal information. The federal agency issued the warning after receiving reports of several possible fraud attempts.

SNAP is called Basic Food in Washington.

“While many organizations are seeking to help communities respond to COVID-19, SNAP participants should be suspicious of any unknown individual or organization that requests their confidential information,” Brandon Lipps with the USDA said in a news release. “This is a difficult time for us all, and we certainly don’t want to see bad actors taking advantage of those in need.”

Confidential information includes Social Security numbers, bank information or a participant’s EBT card or PIN number. In one reported scam, a website asked people to enter their personal and bank account information to qualify for COVID-related monetary assistance, the news release said.

SNAP participants who are unsure about the legitimacy of a request are advised to contact the Washington SNAP program at 877-501-2233. Those who believe they’re a victim of identity theft can contact their local police department and file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online at ftc.gov. For more information about potential scams, visit fns.usda.gov/snap/scam-alerts.