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Keep Your Benefits Safe from Skimming

Skimming is a type of theft that can happen anywhere you swipe your EBT card. It happens when illegal devices are installed on card reader machines such as ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or fuel pumps. When a card is swiped, the skimming device captures the card information and PINs. Criminals use the stolen information to create fake cards. More than $1 billion is stolen each year from consumers and financial institutions across the United States. 

Skimmed SNAP benefits may be replaced. SUN Bucks benefits cannot be replaced.

Taking the steps listed below can help ensure the safety of your nutrition and cash benefits:

  • Change your EBT card PIN once a month.  Visit or call the EBT customer service line at 1-888-997-1117. A great time to do this is right before your benefits are issued.
  • Avoid simple PINs. Number combinations such as 1111, 1234, or 9876 may be easy for others to guess.
  • Keep your PIN and card number secret. Do not share your PIN or card number with anyone outside your household.
  • Cover the keypad when you enter your PIN on a machine. Check the card machine for any unusual devices or signs of tampering.
  • Beware of phishing. State agencies and EBT processors will never call or text to ask for your PIN or card number.
  • Check your EBT account regularly for unauthorized charges. If you see any, change your PIN right away to stop the thief from making new purchases.
  • Report suspicious activity to the EBT customer service line.
  • Contact DCFS if you think you are the victim of card skimming and your SNAP benefits were stolen.


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