Monday, April 15, 2024
HomenewsFood Stamp Fraud Victims May Be Paid Thanks to Increased Federal Funds

Food Stamp Fraud Victims May Be Paid Thanks to Increased Federal Funds

Brian Lickey learned in early January that someone had been using his food stamp card to go on a spending binge in Arizona. According to Lickey, “there are charges that landed within seconds or less of each other.”

In less than 24 hours, the numerous transactions had depleted Lickey’s benefit balance. All told, it cost $3,600 and was “gut-wrenching,” he claimed.

When he reported the fraud to the police, they discovered that his case was linked to around 10 other fraud claims as a result of a skimmer in the Orem WinCo self-checkout.

We are aware of additional cases, Lt. Nick Thomas told KSL-TV in January.”A skimmer was used at WinCo here in town to get that money.”

According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, food stamp EBT cards now operate like cash, and benefits that have been used cannot be reclaimed. But that will soon alter.

According to a statement from Workforce Services, “the omnibus measure that passed in December did clarify that the states will be allowed to use federal cash to reinstate some of the stolen or skimmed benefits.”

Utah is presently presenting its proposals for how to use the federal cash and hopes to launch the program this spring.

The statement continued, “Once approved, states will be allowed to implement this method, encompassing retroactive events dating back to October 1, 2022.”

KSL-TV got some papers from the police that say that on January 2, an officer went to the WinCo after getting a report of fraud.

Food Stamp Fraud Victims May Be Paid Thanks to Increased Federal Funds

“Four suspects replaced an electronic checkout device in the self-checkout area with their own,” says the complaint.

According to the study, the skimming device had been in use since November 26, 2022. Police responded to the same WinCo in August 2022, according to a different police complaint, and discovered a skimming device there as well.

KSL-TV was informed by Workforce Services that it is also considering adding further security elements to the EBT card. Options include a data-encrypting chip and immediate transaction alerts.

According to Muris Prses, the associate director for eligibility services at Workforce Services, “unfortunately, in the last couple of years, what we have seen—in addition to the instance out of Orem—is that this has become a more prevalent threat that keeps recurring.”

“For the families going through this, it is very terrible,” Press continued. State and federal authorities are collaborating with the investigation, Orem police confirmed to KSL-TV.

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