DCFS Urges SNAP, P-EBT Recipients to Monitor Purchases, Strengthen PINs After Possible Card Skimmer Activity in Sabine Parish

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2022

BATON ROUGE – The Department of Children and Family Services is urging recipients of 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:

  • Strengthening the card’s Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Monitoring card activity using the LifeInCheck EBT mobile app, and
  • Being cautious when using the card, including checking out the card terminal for potential skimming equipment and shielding their PIN entry from view when making purchases.

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.

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SNAP Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (833) 620-1071, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to:

mail:
Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
1320 Braddock Place, Room 334
Alexandria, VA 22314; or

fax:
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or

email:
FNSCIVILRIGHTSCOMPLAINTS@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.