Acting Human Services Secretary Warns SNAP Recipients Of Potential Scams, Reminds Of Safe Way To Apply For Assistance
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Meg Snead today advised Pennsylvanians of a potential phishing scam texting people that their EBT card is locked. Pennsylvanians should not reply or share any personal information if they are contacted in this manner.
DHS and other government agencies do not and will not send text alerts regarding EBT, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or any other public assistance programs.
“There are always people who will try to take advantage of others who may need help meeting essential needs, but please remember that DHS will never contact any of our benefit recipients via text,” said Acting Secretary Snead. “If you have received unsolicited or random calls or text messages telling you that your benefits are in jeopardy and asking you for personal information, it is most likely a scam. Please be aware that these are scams. Do not respond and delete the message so you do not get caught in identity theft.”
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. Pennsylvanians can also access their EBT balance through the 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.
All Pennsylvanians experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic, a lost job, or a change in income are strongly encouraged to apply and see if they qualify for assistance with food, health care, and other essential needs.