SNAP recipients are the target of the most recent scam. In an effort to keep those enrolled in the program safe, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has clarified its contact methods and operating policies.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), Acting Secretary Meg Snead has advised Pennsylvanians of a potential phishing scam. The scam claims that the recipient was “approved for $1,000” in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and must click a link to obtain it. Pennsylvanians should not reply or share any personal information if they are contacted in this manner.
DHS does send text messages to people who receive SNAP and other benefits from the number 1-833-648-1964. DHS text messages will not include:
- Details about a person’s benefits, such as the amount of SNAP they are authorized to receive,
- A request for specific personal information, and/or
- Links to unofficial sites; most DHS texts will direct people to dhs.pa.gov, COMPASS, or a site that ends in .gov, .org, or .com.
Please report any texts about DHS benefits that seem suspicious by calling the DHS fraud tipline at 1-844-DHS-TIPS (1-844-347-8477).
“If you have received unsolicited or random calls or text messages telling you that you need to click a link to access your benefits and asking you for personal information, it is most likely a scam. Do not respond and delete the message so you do not get caught in identity theft,” said Acting Secretary Snead.
How Can I Stay Informed About SNAP Scams?
The United States Department of Agriculture publishes information\ about potential SNAP scams, but Pennsylvanians should always be aware of the threat of phishing schemes through unsolicited calls and text messages. 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.
Applications for SNAP and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. SNAP and Medicaid applications are accepted by phone by calling the Consumer Service Center at 1-866-550-4355. On-site County Assistance Office (CAO) services are available if clients cannot access online services or need assistance that cannot be accessed through the COMPASS website, the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling the Customer Service Centers at 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia clients or 1-877-395-8930 for clients in all other counties.