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Officials say they have received reports of attempts to steal SNAP EBT and P-EBT information –

Officials say they have received reports of attempts to steal SNAP EBT and P-EBT information –

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — Officials at the state and local level have received reports of people attempting to steal SNAP EBT and P-EBT card information.

The Charlottesville Department of Social Services and the Virginia Department of Social Services offer some tips to help protect your benefits.

According to a press release, EBT benefit recipients will never be contacted and asked to provide their EBT or P-EBT card number or PIN.

Users are encouraged not to respond to unsolicited text messages, emails, or phone calls regarding their account.

They should also regularly check their card balance for unauthorized purchases and change their PIN code regularly. This is one of the best ways to prevent skimming.

Also check whether the card payment devices have been tampered with before inserting or swiping the card into the machine.

Additionally, individuals should contact Virginia’s EBT Client Customer Service Helpdesk at (866) 281-2448 and create a strong password for their client portal account.

The press release states that scammers may attempt to contact EBT users with links to access their accounts or with warnings that their accounts have been blocked.

VDSS says it will never contact customers through these methods and will only discuss accounts through the EBT Client Customer Service Helpdesk if called.

If you have responded to an unsolicited call, text message or link about your benefit, you are requested to contact the helpdesk as soon as possible. Click here for more information about fraud compensation.