Be weary of recent EBT benefit scams

Published on November 08, 2021


Many scams have been reported that are targeting recipients of EBT benefits. Beware of telephone and cellphone text scams that may affect you or loved ones. If you are an EBT cardholder and receive a text, call or email asking for your card number, pin or any personal info, do not provide it.

Be aware of the recent scams:

  • Scams offering a “free government cellphone” or “free gift cards.” They ask for your personal information, card number and/or pin.
  • New benefit recipients are contacted by a “protection plan” company that says they are part of the state program. They ask for personal information from cardholders, getting enough to steal benefits from the cardholders’ accounts.
  • People who say they are “concerned citizens” posting warnings about EBT card security. They give a telephone number that is close to a real customer service help line telephone number (maybe one number is different). A cardholder calls the number, and then is asked for personal information, account number and a pin.
  • Text messages have been used to get illegal access to other people's benefits. If you receive a text message or email asking for your personal EBT information, contact your county public assistance office and do not reply to the text or email message.

If you would like to report a scam in San Mateo County should contact the district attorney’s office or call 650-363-4651.