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New DSHS campaign aims to prevent EBT fraud

New DSHS campaign aims to prevent EBT fraud

Since April 2022, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services has been tracking food and cash benefits lost to EBT card fraud. The data shows an alarming increase in fraud, with card reader fraud totaling $5.5 million in losses affecting 9,000 people who receive food and cash assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Washington state. On average, affected households are losing nearly $600 in benefits they use to purchase food and other necessities.

DSHS is taking steps to help SNAP and cash recipients protect their EBT cards and replace benefits stolen by scammers. In total, DSHS processed more than 8,000 claims and replaced $3 million in food benefits.

The DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance recently launched a new, nationwide outreach campaign to inform recipients from Washington’s refugee and immigrant communities about the risks of welfare fraud, tell-tale signs of common scams, and steps to protect their EBT card information.

Made materials as part of this campaign have been translated into 15 languages, including Arabic, Amharic, Chinese, Dari, Korean, Pashto, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

“Our goal is to reach people where they are with the information they need to avoid being scammed and protect their benefits. That includes creating materials in the many languages ​​spoken in Washington state,” said Brice Montgomery, interim director of the Community Services Division. community partners are doing the important work of educating people so they feel informed about EBT fraud and know what steps they can take to keep their benefits safe.”

To ensure the materials reach people, ORIA has partnered with nearly a dozen community organizations serving immigrant and refugee communities in King, Snohomish and Yakima counties. Many of ORIA’s partners are using campaign materials to host in-person learning sessions for SNAP recipients.

People across Washington state saw content on social media and heard radio ads in multiple languages ​​throughout the month of June with these helpful tips.

SNAP recipients who believe they have been scammed or want to learn more about protecting their EBT card have resources to help:



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Download the ebtEDGE app or visit ebtEDGE.com and log in via the cardholder portal. The app is available in English, French Creole and Spanish. The web portal is available in Arabic, English, Chinese, French Creole, Polish, Russian and Spanish).



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Call 888-328-9271 to speak with an EBT representative. Interpretation services are available.



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Visit a local DSHS Office of Community Services or call the Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233. Interpreter services are available.