Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) has issued a warning about the latest scam targeting Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cardholders using U.S. mail to attain client personal information fraudulently.
There are two ways this scam works:
The first method:
The first one EBT card holders are receiving a letter in the mail, to call a phone number to renew their social service benefits. Once the victim calls, they are asked to provide personal information to what they think is an official representative, when in fact it is a scammer. These scammers ask the victim to provide personal information which in turn will be used to open fake accounts.
The second method:
Cardholders are receiving text messages and/or phone calls instructing the victim to call back. Upon call back, an automated recording asks them to provide personal information including their EBT 16-digit card number and PIN. When that information is given, the scammers create a duplicate card and withdraw funds from the victim’s accounts.
Some of the fraudulent phone numbers currently being used are: (559) 461-9778 and (858) 232-3581.
Helpful tips to prevent being a victim of this scam:
• Cardholders should not provide any information.
• Cardholders who have already provided card numbers and PINs to a third party should call the phone number on the back of their EBT card and change their PINs or report their EBT cards as lost or stolen.
EBT cardholders should never provide personal information to unknown third parties. If anyone receives such a letter or suspects that they’ve been a victim of this scam, they should immediately call the phone number on the back of their EBT card, change their PIN and report their EBT card as lost or stolen.
Here are a few ways to make sure your identity is not compromised:
• Know who you are giving your information
• Store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially your Social Security Number
• Ask as many questions necessary before you feel confidential you are giving your information to a legitimately representative
• Maintain appropriate security on your electronic devices
Please call the DPSS Customer Service Call Center at (866) 613-3777 if you believe that you have been a victim of a phone or text scam.