MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Human Resources is urging caution amid reports of thieves targeting recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with fraudulent text messages.

The text messages typically request high-value personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and SNAP electronic benefits transfer card or PIN numbers. Some text messages falsely claim people have been selected to receive SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps.

Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner said, “Identity thieves are using new tricks in hopes of catching SNAP recipients off guard during this time of heightened uncertainty. It is so important to take the precautions necessary to protect your identity, along with the integrity of this vital program. Following these simple but effective tips can greatly reduce your risk of harm.”

DHR recommends these tips to protect against the scam:

  • Never provide personal information to an unfamiliar person or organization.
  • If a text message seems like a scam, delete it. Do not reply.
  • Do not click on any links in an unexpected text message.
  • Beware that scammers often pressure victims to “act now!”
  • If an offer or claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not trust caller ID. Scammers can use “spoofing” technology to disguise their phone numbers.

SNAP recipients who are unsure if a request for information is legitimate should contact their local DHR office at a verified phone number. Contact information is available at https://dhr.alabama.gov/county-office-contact/.

The Food Assistance Division of DHR administers the SNAP program in Alabama. More information about the program can be found at https://dhr.alabama.gov/food-assistance/.

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