Even though her days are filled with desperate callers pleading for help to undo a scammer's mess, she wasn't expecting the call she received that day. As a fraud analyst for the past five years, she's listened to hundreds of personal stories from victims retelling common scams and frauds. Her heart broke for the victims. Most could not recover the money lost for believing a fraudster's false promises.

You don't need to be a fraud analyst to stop these crooks from accessing your personal information.

So, when she receives a phone call from a scam artist during her lunch break, she decides to have a little fun.


(10 minutes into the phone call)

Fraudster: That's right. All you need to do is enter your SNAP EBT card number. I'll send you the website link in just a minute.

Jessica: And you're calling me from where?

Fraudster: I'm calling from the local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program office - your local SNAP office.

Jessica: So, all I have to do is enter my bank account information to receive COVID-19 related relief money?

Fraudster: Yes, that's all.

Jessica: And you're calling me from where?

Fraudster: (Heavy sigh) As I already said, I'm calling from the local SNAP office. I just need your date of birth, some banking information, and we can get you that money today.

Jessica: Sounds excellent!

Fraudster: I just need some information from you first.

Jessica: Okay.

Fraudster: What's your birthday?

Jessica: It was last month.

Fraudster: Happy belated birthday. Now, I need the date.

Jessica: Thank you. So, you need the date? Today is the 13th.

Fraudster: No, no - I need your birthdate.

Jessica: Didn't I just give it to you? It was last month.

Fraudster: Jessica, I need the exact date and exact year you were born.

Jessica: I can't give you that.

Fraudster: Look, Jessica. We have to have this information to process your relief funds.

Jessica: Oh, I see. July.

Fraudster: (Raises voice) Right. I have that part. I need the day.

Jessica: Oh, that's easy. Wednesday.

Fraudster: I need the date you were born, not the day of the week. Just forget that for now. What about the year?

Jessica: It's 2020. And it's been a rough one. Let me tell you about...

The fraudster hangs up.

Jessica made this scammer wish he'd never dialed her number. But you don't need to engage with scammers to avoid their schemes. You do, however, need to ensure your private information stays out of their hands.

Protect Your SNAP Participant Information

SNAP scammers try to get hold of your participant card number, PIN, banking information, or social security number so they can either steal your benefits or identity. Fraudsters will ask for your personal data over the telephone, via text, or even send you a website link with the promise of pandemic relief funds or extra benefits.

You don't need to be a fraud analyst to stop these crooks from accessing your personal information.

If you receive an unexpected call from someone who claims to be from your local SNAP office or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), don't provide any information.

Tell them to "settle down" and you'll call them back at the number listed in the SNAP State Directory of Resources.