Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced on Tue., Oct. 31, 2023 that the Monroe County Department of Human Services (DHS) has finished addressing the more than 1,100 Monroe County residents who alerted DHS that their benefits were stolen due to Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card skimming.
Members of the DHS team worked overtime to resolve each of the cases and ensure each of the EBT card skimming victims were reissued their stolen benefits.
Card skimming involves directly copying card and personal identification number (PIN) information from EBT cardholders using a device (skimmers) placed on top of a store's card reading machine. The stolen data is used to access an individual’s EBT account and spend their SNAP (Food Stamps) and Temporary Assistance cash benefits.
According to Monroe County DHS, a nationwide EBT card skimming operation has impacted DHS clients all over Western New York, including in Erie and Niagara Counties in the past few weeks.
DHS recommends ahead of EBT benefit issuance on Nov. 1, 2023 that all cardholders should take the following steps to protect their EBT benefits:
• Change their PIN immediately, and remember to change it frequently
• Remember to protect their EBT card and PIN information
• Monitor their EBT account regularly to watch for unauthorized transactions
If someone believes their benefits have been stolen please immediately report the card stolen by calling 888‐328‐6399, visiting www.connectEBT.com, or through the connectEBT mobile app.