A correction has been made to the image on this post originally displaying an incorrect card, a true EBT card is now displayed.

STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – Following last week’s warning of food stamp phishing scams in Steuben County, residents with EBT cards are being reminded to be on the lookout for card skimmers.

The County said the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is warning of card skimming devices that can steal EBT accounts and PIN information. The devices are overlayed on card readers in stores and steal the information when cardholders go to make a purchase.

The scammers can then duplicate the cardholder’s EBT account and spend their SNAP and cash benefits.

“The card reading machine allows the transaction to go through without any issues so the cardholder doesn’t know their information has been stolen,” said Steuben DSS Commissioner Kathryn Muller. “Most victims of skimming don’t know their EBT card and PIN information has been stolen until the next time they try to use their EBT card or review their account balance.”

The County offered the following tips to keep your EBT card secure and to watch out for card skimming devices:

  • Change the card’s PIN frequently and avoid choosing a PIN that is easy to guess.
  • Physically inspect card reading machines. Skimmers will likely be difficult to notice, but there are
    some signs that may indicate that a skimmer is being used, including:
    • Some skimmer devices block LED indicator lights or illuminated backlit keypad numbers, or partially cover stylus/pen trays.
    • The faceplate of card reading machines may be loose, appear ill-fitting, or be easily dislodged from the body of the machine.
    • Cardholders should always exercise caution when making purchases and refrain from using any suspicious card reading machine.
  • Report suspicious devices and activity. Alert the retailer and do not use the EBT card to make a purchase.
  • Regularly review the account balance.
  • Contact your local department of social services immediately if fraud is suspected.

Anyone who suspects EBT card skimming should report their card stolen by calling 1-888-328-6399 to get a replacement.

Steuben County also reminded residents to be on the lookout for “phishing” emails from unknown senders making unusual offers, such as “smart tablet giveaways”, or fraudulent requests for households to provide card and PIN information in order to access pandemic food benefits or to unlock an EBT account. The Department of Social Services urges you not to reply to those emails.