How to detect, report, and prevent benefits theft

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Millions of Americans rely on food stamps (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and other benefits distributed on EBT cards each month. Unfortunately, scammers have been increasingly skimming EBT cards to steal benefits.

What’s card skimming?

Scammers can hide skimming devices on credit card machines to steal your EBT information and PIN as you swipe your card. With this stolen information, they can make copies of EBT cards and steal the food stamps and cash from the associated accounts.

This crime can happen anywhere people swipe EBT cards to pay or withdraw, such as ATMs or grocery stores. Skimming devices are very small and hard to find, which is why most stores are unaware of this illegal activity.

Keep in mind that the Providers app isn’t involved in any EBT transactions. We just help you check your EBT card balance.

What do I do if my benefits are stolen?

Benefits theft is an awful crime aimed at people who already have limited resources. We’re here to support victims and help prevent further theft of these vital benefits. If you’ve been the victim of benefits theft, report it immediately to your case worker and law enforcement. Additional steps vary by state.

Tips for keeping your benefits safe from card skimming scams

  • Check your EBT card balance frequently for unauthorized transactions. Many EBT cardholders have detected benefits theft by checking their balance frequently on the Providers app.
  • Change your PIN regularly. Consider changing your PIN monthly in advance of your benefits deposit date. You can call the number on the back of your card to change your PIN.

How we keep your information safe

We aim to make it as easy as possible to check your EBT card balance frequently, and we’ve put in extra measures to ensure your information is safe and secure. We built Providers to be as safe as possible from the very beginning, including asking for and storing as little information as possible. We don’t and have never saved your EBT card number or PIN.

We’ll continue to support you in making the most of your benefits and keeping them safe. Remember: check your balance often, change your PIN frequently, and report theft immediately.

Have questions? Email us at

Please note that Providers is not part of the government. If you have specific questions about SNAP or other benefits, contact your caseworker or local human services office.

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