The Department of Children and Family Services is urging recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Pandemic EBT benefits to monitor their purchases and consider resetting their PINs after possible card skimmer activity occurred in Sabine Parish this week.
While the theft of benefits appears to be relatively isolated at this time, the joint investigation with law enforcement is ongoing. Out of an abundance of caution, given that many people are doing holiday meal shopping this week, DCFS encourages EBT cardholders to take reasonable steps to prevent fraudulent activity on their cards. Those precautions should include:
Federal food assistance benefits are not reimbursable if stolen, so it is important for cardholders to take all reasonable steps to secure their cards.
EBT card PINs should be numbers that cannot be reasonably guessed by someone attempting to fraudulently access benefits. PINs should not include the cardholder’s birthdate, year of birth, last four digits of their Social Security Number, last four digits of their card number, four consecutive digits (e.g., 1234), four identical digits (e.g., 1111), or numbers beginning with 0 (e.g., 0542).
The LifeInCheck EBT mobile app allows users to review their card activity, including most recent transactions and available balance, as well as reset their PIN. Cardholders may also access this information and reset their PIN by visiting www.LifeInCheckEBT.com or by calling the EBT customer service line at 1-888-997-1117.
In addition, EBT cardholders and retailers are reminded that Card Not Present transactions are not allowed, except through approved online retailers like Amazon Pantry and Walmart. In all other cases, the card must be physically swiped for purchases. If the magstripe doesn’t work, the cashier may manually enter the card number, followed by the cardholder entering their PIN on the keypad.
For more information on the LifeInCheck EBT app, resetting a PIN, or other EBT-related questions, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/ebt.