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NYPD shares tips on how to prevent EBT scams

The scam happens when an EBT cardholder uses their card in a store and then find out that the card has no money on it.

Natalie Hernandez

Mar 2, 2024, 1:18 AM

Updated 142 days ago

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According to the Department of Social Services, 20% of New Yorkers have EBT cards and some have fallen victim to scams that have taken money from their cards. Police are warning New Yorkers what to watch out for to avoid those scams.
The scam happens when an EBT cardholder uses their card in a store and then find out that the card has no money on it.
The NYPD tells News 12 the scam is done through the use of skimming devices that may be on a card reader in a store or ATM. Skimmers are card readers that can be disguised to look like part of an ATM, and the devices can allow scammers to create a clone of a user's card.
Officers say if a card reader looks out of place, users can pull on it. They also say that if a user feels uncomfortable with using a machine, they can ask employees of a store for alternatives to pay using the card from the register machine.
"Be cognizant -- check your balance, check your account as much as possible," says Officer Raul Jara, of the NYPD Crime Prevention Unit.
Police say users can also cover their hands when putting in their EBT card's PIN.
The NYPD says anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an EBT scam is encouraged to go to their local precinct and file a report or call 911.


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