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Some members have reported that they have received text messages and/or phone calls instructing them to call a phone number where an automated recording asks them to provide personal information including their EBT 16-digit card number and PIN. When the information is given, the perpetrators then create a card and withdraw funds from the recipient’s accounts. This is a scam. Cardholders should not provide any information. Cardholders who have already provided card numbers and PINs to a third party should call the phone number on the back of their EBT card and change their PINs or to report their EBT cards as lost or stolen.

It is critical to maintain the confidentiality of your identity and your EBT card’s information. To help reduce your risk of identity theft, unless while working with a case worker, the Department of Public Social Services will never require you to give your personal information over the phone, by text message or via email. Protecting your information is one of the Department of Public Social Services’ main priorities. The only way they can safely accept your information at this time is by you submitting it through the Customer Service Center, Your Benefits Now, by fax, or in person at one of the department’s offices.

Here are a few ways to make sure your identity is not compromised:

  • know who you share information with;
  • store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially your Social Security number;
  • ask questions before deciding to share your personal information;
  • and maintain appropriate security on your electronic devices.

If you suspect that you have been a victim of this scam, call the DPSS Customer Service Call Center at (866) 613-3777.

For additional information about scams, please visit California EBT website:
http://www.ebtproject.ca.gov/ClientInformation/scams.shtml