In this Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, photo, a man uses a cell phone in New Orleans. With suicides on the rise, the government wants to make the national crisis hotline easier to reach. Once implemented, people will just need to dial 988 to seek help. Currently, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). Callers are routed to one of 163 crisis centers, where counselors answered 2.2 million calls last year. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services warns users about potential scam texts
The state Department of Human Services is warning Pennsylvanians about a potential text message scam.
Some people have reported receiving a text message asking for EBT card information and claiming that their card is blocked — regardless of whether or not they take part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Getting suspicious text messages or phone calls?
DHS will never ask for information about an EBT card, SNAP, or public assistance programs via unsolicited or random calls or texts.
☎️ Report suspicious calls and texts to DHS:
1-844-DHS-TIPS (1-844-347-8477). pic.twitter.com/8Owc9vlXAN
— PA Department of Human Services (@PAHumanServices) March 14, 2023
While DHS does send some informational text messages, the department will never ask for information about an EBT card, SNAP, Medicaid or other public assistance program through random calls or texts. Officials said people should not respond to requests for personal information or details about the benefits they’re authorized to receive, and should avoid clicking on links to unofficial websites.
“Do not fall victim to identity theft. If you receive unsolicited text messages asking you for your personal information, it is a scam,” said acting DHS Secretary Val Arkoosh. “If you receive a suspicious text or call asking you for personal information, please inform the DHS fraud tip line immediately so DHS and the proper authorities can investigate.”
Suspicious calls and texts can be reported to the DHS fraud tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS (1-844-347-8477).
Questions about whether a call or text is legitimate can contact DHS’ Office of Income Maintenance. Inquiries about EBT balance and card replacements can be made through DHS’ EBT contractor, Conduent, at 888-328-7366. People can also check their EBT balance through the myCOMPASS PA app.