According to information obtained by Local News sources, more than 18,000 applications for electronic food stamps and cash assistance benefits that were stolen were submitted to New York City in the previous month. The cash is taken from citizens' debit cards that the government has issued.
The money, according to the city, is stolen after users swipe their debit cards on skimming machines. This fraud is taking place all over the nation.
The city claimed that federal rules from the United States Department of Agriculture, which oversees Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamp payments, prevented it from being able to refund people's money until recently.
$4.5 Million In Replacement Benefits
Since August 21, the city claims to have distributed more than 4.5 million dollars in replacement benefits. According to the city, replacement SNAP benefits are paid for using federal SNAP monies while replacement cash assistance payments are paid for with funds set aside in the New York State budget.
How To Claim Replacement Benefits?
Visit your ConnectEBT account as soon as possible to report the scam if you think you are a victim. The EBT Customer Service hotline number is 1-888-328-6399. People can get a replacement card online without visiting a SNAP or HRA office. If someone needs a new card right away, they can visit their neighborhood Benefits Access Center to get a 90-day temporary "vault" card.
You will receive a replacement card and the funds still be in your account within five to seven days after reporting the fraud.
You need to submit a claim in order to get reimbursed for the money that was taken.