Acting Secretary Val Arkoosh of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced a new SMS scam involving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
The text message requests information on SNAP benefits and informs the recipient that their EBT card has been blocked. The text is being sent to people regardless of whether they receive SNAP benefits or not.
SNAP Benefits Scam
According to acting DHS Secretary Val Arkoosh, people who do not receive SNAP benefits have also been targeted.
Arkoosh reminded Pennsylvanians that DHS will never seek information concerning an EBT card, SNAP, Medicaid, or any other public assistance program through unsolicited or random calls or texts, and urged people who received strange messages to contact the DHS fraud tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS. (1-844-347-8477).
Arkoosh stated that DHS does send informational text messages to persons who receive SNAP, Medicaid, and other assistance from the number 1-833-648-1964.
What Are DHS Valid Texts?
The DHS has offered several samples of valid texts from the department:
- “Is your contact information up to date with DHS? Don’t miss important info about your benefits. Update your information at dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS.”
- “Your Medical Assistance and/or CHIP renewal is due. Your health care coverage matters. Complete your renewal now at dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS or by phone.”
- “Your renewal packet has been mailed to you. Please be aware that the renewal packet will take several days to arrive in the mail. Please note that you can use a computer to log in to your MyCOMPASS account and complete your renewal today.”
- “Your renewal is due in 5 days. Please use a computer to log in to your MyCOMPASS account to complete your renewal today. You can also complete your renewal packet and mail it back to your CAO with the provided pre-paid envelope.”
Pennsylvania residents who have issues about the legitimacy of a phone call, text message, letter, or other communication should contact DHS’ Office of Income Maintenance.
Conduent, DHS’ EBT contractor, can be reached at 888-328-7366 for EBT balance and transaction queries, as well as card replacements.
Furthermore, Pennsylvanians can safely and securely access their EBT balance via the free myCOMPASS PA smartphone app.