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Fraudsters attempt to use COVID-19 crisis to to take advantage of SNAP program recipients

SNAP recipient could be the targets of fraudsters taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. The Agriculture Department’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services which administers the SNAP program (formerly called Food Stamps) has issued a fraud alert. The alert was based on reports on several attempts to defraud SNAP shoppers.

The fraud attempts included using the COVID-19 crisis to pry confidential information out of a SNAP participants. Examples of the confidential information sought are Social Security Numbers, Bank Identification Information, or the SNAP participant’s EBT card or PIN number.

The scam involves asking SNAP recipients for the confidential information in order to qualify them for COVID-19-related financial assistance.

USDA warns SNAP participants that if they are unsure whether a request for confidential data is legitimate or not to contact their local SNAP office. In the alternative participants can contact their state agency (

For more information on this or other scams targeting SNAP shoppers, USDA recommends a visit to its SNAP Scam Alert webpage at (https://www.fns.usda.guv/snap/scam-alert)

In response to the attempt to use the Covid-19 crisis to defraud SNAP participants, Brandon Lipps, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA ’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services said, this is a difficult time for us all, and we certainly don’t want to see bad actors taking advantage of those in need.        

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