GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A scam in the Piedmont Triad is targeting families who rely on food assistance.
EBT card skimmers were found at several Walmart locations in Greensboro and High Point. Now, Guildford County officials are working to get people their money back.
You’re asked to first report the issue to the police. There are still new cases in the county. Secondly, you’re asked to make sure to get a new EBT card and pin number to stop this issue from getting any more tragic.
“Hundreds of dollars. Life-changing reductions,” said Chad Gurley the Guilford County deputy social services director.
The average loss per family in the state of North Carolina is around $450.
In Guilford County alone, more than 500 households have been impacted. Together, they’ve lost a total of more than $422,000 to the scammers.
And it is spreading across the state. Last year in North Carolina, the Department of Health and Human Services reported around $338,000 lost in scams. This year, more than $1 million has been stolen.
“Nobody could have predicted this skimming. Nobody could have predicted that they were trying to hit the families that are in the most need,” Gurley said.
The Guilford County Department of Social Services says you need to check your EBT account regularly and make sure to change settings in the EBT app to restrict out-of-state transactions.
“We are seeing them use those benefits in other states…whoever is skimming, they are taking the benefits and using them across state lines,” Gurley said.
Before swiping your card, check for anything loose on the card reader. So far, nobody has gotten their money back. The state has submitted a request to the United States Department of Agriculture to get refunds for families, but local offices are still waiting.
“Realistically, it could be anywhere from six months to a year…we just don’t know right now,” Gurley said.
Their office is at a loss for words of why the scammers chose this group to victimize.
“Just because individuals have EBT does not mean that they are the bottom of society. It just means they went through circumstances that allowed them to get on services to survive,” he said.
Guilford County has felt this especially hard, but other counties really trying to get the message out.
Forsyth County has 11 cases so far with more than $5,000 in losses. Davidson County is reporting around $13,000 stolen.
No matter where you live and use EBT, be careful.