• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Monday, June 12, 2023

Beware of card skimming for FNS EBT cards

There’s a growing problem with scammers stealing FNS (Food and Nutrition Services) benefits by skimming EBT cards.

Card skimming involves attaching devices to machines where EBT cards are swiped that can steal personal data from those cards. The card skimmers will look just like part of the machine and can be attached to a point-of-sale machine/pin pad in less than a minute. The card skimmer will clone the information from EBT cards, giving scammers access to the money on the card.

Tips for protecting your EBT card:

  • Check your EBT account regularly for any unauthorized charges. You can check your balance or replace a lost or stolen EBT card by visiting www.ebtedge.com, using the EBT Edge mobile app or contacting the North Carolina EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328.
  • If you suspect card skimming, freeze your EBT card so fraudulent purchases cannot be made and contact law enforcement to report any stolen benefits.
  • Check card reading machines in stores to make sure there is nothing suspicious overlayed or attached to the card swiper.
  • Avoid simple PIN numbers like 1111 or 1234 that may be easy to guess. Also, keep your pin and card number secret.
  • Change your PIN number every month.
  • Block out-of-state and online purchases from your EBT Edge account or the mobile app.
In addition to skimming, scammers are using phishing attacks where they trick EBT users into giving them their card information. Federal and state agencies will never call or text you asking for your PIN or card number.

For guidance for state agencies and retailers on card skimming, visit the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website.

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