(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is warning residents of a text messaging scam regarding EBT cards.
According to the DHS, residents are receiving text messages from a number with “@dhs.pa.gov” that claims there’s a problem with their EBT card. Even people who don’t receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits are reportedly receiving the message.
The DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead issued the warning noting that DHS won’t ask for information about public assistance through unsolicited calls or text messages.
“If you have received unsolicited text messages asking you about your EBT benefits and for your personal information, it is a scam. Do not respond so you do not fall victim to identity theft,” Snead said. “Please inform the DHS fraud tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS (1-844-347-8477) immediately so DHS and other authorities can investigate.”
The announcement noted that DHS does in fact send text messages to benefits recipients from its (833) 648-1964 phone number, however those text messages do not include details about a person’s benefits (including the amount of SNAP they are authorized to receive), requests for specific personal information, nor links to unofficial sites (most official texts with links are for dhs.pa.gov, COMPASS, or a site ending in .gov, .org or .com).
The warning gave direction to benefits recipients: Pennsylvanians who have questions about whether a call, text, letter or other communication is legitimate should contact DHS’ Office of Income Maintenance. EBT balance and transaction inquiries as well as card replacements can be requested from DHS’s EBT contractor, Conduent, at 888-328-7366. In addition, Pennsylvanians can access their EBT balance through the free myCOMPASS PA mobile app in a safe and secure manner.