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Scammers Are Targeting SNAP Recipients

32 incidents have been investigated this year
Photo: Jonathan Weiss | Shutterstock

Scammers are targeting Texans using SNAP benefits in order to obtain personal information and funds. This year, a high number of investigations and incidents are raising concerns. 

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is receiving an increase in reports of scams targeting clients who use Lone Star Cards and is urging Texans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits to monitor purchases on their Lone Star Card.

On Feb. 14, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission released a statement, warning SNAP recipients that they may be at risk for targeting. Scammers are primarily using “skimming” and “phishing” to obtain Lone Star Card numbers and personal identification numbers (PIN). 

“Skimming” is where devices are placed on card readers to capture information, and “phishing” is when a text message or email is sent to trick people into clicking a link or calling a number to share card information.

The HHSC Office of Inspector General already initiated 32 investigations in the 2023 fiscal year involving Lone Star Card skimming. This is compared to 108 cases in the entire prior fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31, 2022.

HHSC released an updated version of the Your Texas Benefits app that assists clients in managing their benefits. Using the app, cardholders can easily monitor card purchases, freeze and unfreeze their cards and change their PIN.

“We hope these resources and outreach efforts will minimize the fraud we’re seeing in Texas,” said Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter. “We encourage clients to take immediate action to secure their benefits.”

A new EBT fraud web page in English and Spanish has tips and resources for recipients to learn how to protect themselves against fraud. 

Those affected by Lone Star Card fraud should take immediate action by calling the Lone Star Help Desk (800-777-7328) and reporting it to the HHSC Office of Inspector General (800-436-6184) and local law enforcement.