RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — Scammers are targeting North Carolinians’s EBT cards and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are working to prevent people’s cards from being compromised.

The NCDHHS announced on Thursday that they had become aware of a possible scam targeting people who receive Food and Nutrition Services benefits and that within the past four says over 600 EBT cards have been compromised.

“More than 7,000 cards have been identified as potentially compromised,” the release states.

The NCDHHS says that the scammers are calling and texting victims and asking for personal data or the PIN for their EBT cards, resulting in money being stolen from the cards.

The more than 7000 cards that were identified as possibly compromised have been canceled, and replacement cards have been issued.

The process to replace any benefits that were stolen will launch on Aug. 28, 2023. Victims of the scam will need to complete an affidavit for the stolen benefits and submit it to their county DSS agency so they can be reimbursed for the stolen funds.

“If you receive email or texts from someone asking for EBT card information or your PIN, please do not respond. Neither county DSS offices nor NCDHHS will ever ask for this information using email or unsecure text message,” the department says.

They also offered the following tips for people to avoid falling victim to similar scams or having their benefits stolen:

  • Check your EBT account regularly for unauthorized charges. You can check your balance and/or replace a lost or stolen EBT card by visiting www.ebtedge.com, using the EBT Edge mobile app or contacting the North Carolina EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328.
  • Check card reading machines in stores to make sure there is nothing suspicious overlayed or attached to the card swiper.
  • Select a “difficult” PIN (not 1234 or 4444).
  • If you suspect card skimming, freeze your EBT card so that fraudulent purchases cannot be made using your card.
  • Change the PIN to the EBT card regularly using a new number each time.
  • Block out-of-state and online purchases from their EBT Edge accounts or the mobile app.

Victims should report any stolen EBT funds to local law enforcement and call DSS to freeze their cards if they suspect fraud.