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New Law Protects Low-Income New Yorkers From Fraud


A bill designed to protect low-income New Yorkers from fraud by requiring stores accepting electronic benefit transfer cards to warn of skimming has been signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. Skimming occurs when a scammer installs a device at a point-of-sale terminal that skims the holders’ card data and pin number, allowing the scammer to drain the victim’s benefits. By raising awareness about skimming, this legislation will help prevent New Yorkers from falling victim to this practice and losing their SNAP benefits or cash assistance.

“From baby formula to fresh food, New Yorkers use their EBT cards to cover the cost of essential products to ensure their families are fed and healthy,” Governor Hochul said. “We are taking action to protect New Yorkers from scammers who steal money out of their pockets by making sure customers are aware of skimming and ensuring they know how to protect themselves from falling victim.”

Many New Yorkers are unaware of skimming until it’s too late. Once skimmers steal an individual’s card data and pin number, they have the ability to drain the victim’s benefits. Legislation S.6088/A.4023-A helps protect consumers by requiring businesses that accept EBT cards to place a sign at the point of sale containing a notice to make customers aware of the practice. Additionally, the legislation requires the notice to include steps customers can take to protect themselves and other resources.

New Yorkers who have had their SNAP or Public Assistance benefits stolen electronically can fill out a simple application to have them replaced. All EBT card holders, however, should remain vigilant about these scams and take several basic precautions to protect themselves, including carefully inspecting point-of-sale devices, changing their PIN regularly, and reviewing their transaction history frequently.

Anyone who has their benefits stolen should immediately contact the EBT Customer Service Helpline to report their card stolen and request a replacement EBT card. New Yorkers can contact the helpline by:

o Calling 1-888-328-6399;

o Visiting ConnectEBT; or

o Using the ConnectEBT mobile app.

After reporting their EBT card stolen and requesting a replacement card, New Yorkers can get information on applying for replacement benefits here. Eligible recipients will receive the lesser of either the amount stolen or twice the full monthly allotment received in the month before the benefits were stolen.

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