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Protect Yourself from SNAP EBT Scams

Criminals are trying to steal card benefits nationwide through scams that attempt to trick you into providing your EBT or P-EBT card number and/or PIN. The USDA is actively monitoring this fraudulent activity and has created this dedicated webpage to keep the public informed.

Take Action Protect Your EBT Benefits

The Virginia Department of Social Services is unable to replace missing or stolen EBT funds when scams occur, so it's important to take action now to help protect your EBT card and benefits.

> Do not respond to unsolicited texts, emails or phone calls concerning your EBT account.

Scammers may attempt to contact you with links to access your account or alerts that your account is locked. Virginia EBT will NEVER contact you through these methods and will only discuss your account through the official EBT Client Customer Service Helpdesk line at 1-866-281-2448.

> The USDA encourages cardholders to change their card PIN often to prevent card skimming.

You can do that today by:

  • Using the ConnectEBT web portal or mobile app
  • Calling Virginia's EBT Client Customer Service Helpdesk at 1-866-281-2448 (accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

> Routinely check the balance of your EBT card to ensure that no unauthorized purchases have been made.

  • Check your account balance online at or download the ConnectEBT mobile app for convenience. Select Virginia EBT from the dropdown.

> Create a strong password for your client portal account and mobile app.

A strong password will:

  • Have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols
  • Be significantly different from your previous passwords
  • Be easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess
  1. Do not give your EBT card, card number, password or PIN to anyone not authorized to use your card. Virginia EBT will NEVER ask for your EBT card number online or via text.
  2. Examine card payment devices for signs of tampering before inserting or swiping your card. More information about card skimming.

If Your EBT Card is Compromised

If you believe your card has been compromised, you should immediately do the following:

  1. Change your PIN.
  2. Report the missing benefits and have a new card issued. To do so, contact either Virginia's EBT Client Customer Service Helpdesk at 1-866-281-2448 (accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or your local department of social services.
  3. Request a review be opened at your local department. While the Virginia Department of Social Services is unable to replace stolen benefits, an investigation may reveal where the scamming, phishing or cloning took place.
  4. Contact your local law enforcement to file a report regarding the missing or stolen benefit amounts.

Other EBT Scam Resources

How to Recognize and Report Spam Text Messages

VDSS EBT Scam Notice Flyer - English

Amharic (PDF) | Arabic (PDF) | Dari (PDF) | Pashto (PDF) | Spanish (PDF) | Ukranian (PDF) | Urdu (PDF) | Vietnamese (PDF) 

VDSS EBT Scam Notice Flyer - v2 - Graphical

USDA EBT Skimming Information Sheet

Article Source
Virginia Department of Social Services
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