The Department of Social Services warns Missourians to be alert of fraud activity involving requests for Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card numbers and personal identification numbers (PIN)

The Department of Social Services warns Missourians to be alert of fraud activity involving requests for Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card numbers and personal identification numbers (PIN).

Individuals have reported receiving text messages, emails, or phone calls requesting their personal EBT card number and PIN used to access Food Stamp and Temporary Assistance benefits. It’s important to remember not to share this information, because if someone else gets a hold of it they can steal the benefits a cardholder may have on their EBT card.

“The Department of Social Services will not email, text or call an individual receiving Food Stamp or Temporary Assistance benefits to ask for their EBT card and PIN,” said Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services. “We want to make sure Missourians are aware of this current fraud activity and remind them to always keep card numbers and PINs in a safe place and never respond to anyone asking for that information. So far, we have not received reports of Missouri victims losing benefits through this scam and we want to keep it that way.”

If you suspect you have received a fraudulent text, call or email, do not respond. Instead, report it immediately to the Welfare Investigations Unit online or by phone 877-770-8055.

Some suggestions for keeping your information safe include:

Never respond to texts, calls or emails asking for your private information such as birth date, social security number or EBT card number or PIN. Never share your PIN with anyone. Select a PIN that cannot be easily guessed (i.e., do not use your birth date, sequential numbers like 1234, or repeating numbers like 4444). Memorize your PIN. Do not write it down on your card or keep it written in your wallet. Do not use your PIN as a password for other bank and non-bank services. Be aware of others nearby when entering your PIN at an ATM or at a grocery store.

For more tips on keeping your information secure, visit the Missouri Attorney General’s website on Identity Theft & Data Security at https://www.ago.mo.gov/civil-division/consumer/identity-theft-data-security.