Hundreds of families in Maryland complained after their SNAP benefits were stolen from their EBT cards, losing over $1 million.
$1 Million Worth of SNAP Benefits Was Stolen
Millions of American families rely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to meet their daily needs. However, thieves took advantage of this program and stole over $1 million worth of SNAP benefits from hundreds of families in Maryland.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture believes that thieves were using skimming and phishing. Maryland Department of Human Services said, “thieves place a device on a retailer’s card-swiping machine to copy EBT card information. Card skimming can happen to anyone that uses a credit, debit or EBT card, including SNAP participants.”
Victims of the alleged phishing and skimming activities said that the funds from their EBT cards were stolen in the middle of the night. They also added that this happened just minutes or after their monthly SNAP benefits are deposited into their accounts, according to a published article in WMAR.
Statements from the Victims
Katherine Abanda-Sein, a mother of four who had $790 stolen from her, said, “I logged into to see how much food stamps I have left and I saw my cash benefit was withdrawn,” Courtney Obee, whose benefits were withdrawn the day they were deposited at around 2 a.m. from an ATM in Miami, also said “They took $1,300, $1,320 to be exact.”
Additionally, Erika Johnson who lost more than $1,500 after her SNAP and Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) was fraudulently spent at a Tampa BJ’s Wholesale Club and Target, said, “Florida? I’ve never even been to Florida personally myself, so I’m not understanding how it happened.”