Protecting EBT Food and Cash Benefits From Electronic Theft

By Kris McDowell

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is encouraging people in Oregon to take steps to protect their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards from electronic theft. Electronic theft can happen through card skimming, card cloning, phishing and other similar methods.
“We know that many individuals and families in Oregon rely on the food and cash assistance they receive through their EBT cards to meet their basic needs and to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families,” said Claire Seguin, director of the ODHS Self-Sufficiency Programs. “We urge everyone with an EBT card to take these simple steps to protect their benefits.”
There are a variety of steps that should be taken to protect EBT cards. The ebtEDGE website,, and mobile app (available on the Apple App Store or Google Play) are the only safe places to manage benefits. Do not use any other website or app to check benefits.
Be aware that scams may pop up on social media. Only posts from ODHS official accounts should be trusted. They are “ORHumanServices” on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and “ORGovDHS” on YouTube. ODHS will never ask for benefits card information on social media.
ODHS recommends freezing your card right after each use and unfreezing it before making purchases. This can be done at or with the ebtEDGE mobile app. Look for “Freeze Card” under “Account Services.”
Blocking online purchases and purchases made outside of Oregon is also recommended. This can be done through the website or app at “Protect My Account” under “Account Services.” Blocks can be removed in the future if needed.
Keep your PIN secret and don’t share it with anyone outside of your household. When entering your PIN on a machine when making a purchase, cover the keypad.
Check the activity on your EBT account regularly. If you discover purchases that you did not make, cancel your card by calling 855.328.6715 during weekday hours (8:30 am-4:30 pm) or if it is outside normal business hours, call 888.977.4447. Canceling your card will protect your benefits and a new card can be requested, usually arriving within five business days by mail.
Check card reading machines before swiping your card, looking for anything suspicious on top of or attached to the card swiper or keypad. They can be hard to spot, but are often bigger than the original machine and may hide parts of the machine. These attachments capture data or record cardholders’ PINs. Then criminals use the data to create fake cards to steal from victims’ accounts, a process known as card skimming.
Be on alert for phishing scams in the form of phone calls or text messages. Do not provide your EBT card number or PIN by phone or text. ODHS will never send a text message asking for your EBT card number or PIN.
If you believe you were the victim of electronic EBT theft like skimming or phishing, ODHS may be able to replace those benefits. Contact ODHS within 30 days to ask for replacement benefits by calling 800.699.9075, emailing the SNAP replacement form (at ) to or visiting an ODHS office. Find the one nearest to you at

Protecting EBT Food and Cash Benefits From Electronic Theft

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