Chesapeake mom warns others of EBT scam after losing benefits

EBT card.jpg
Posted at 8:44 PM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-08 09:21:27-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va.— A Chesapeake mother is asking others to watch out after she became a victim to a phishing attack that robbed her of her EBT benefits.

A Chesapeake mom is a part of a growing crime trend targeting those already in need of assistance.

"They left me with $1.20" said Chesapeake mom.

The mother relies on financial help from the state to pay for essentials like food for her family. On Wednesday she visited a 7-11 and when she swiped her card it was declined.

"It was kind of nerve wracking and embarrassing because obviously I had to walk out and tell the person, "okay hold on let me see what's going on" said victim.

She soon learned that the money she uses to buy baby formula for her kids and food to keep her family afloat was gone from her card. She had over $500! But criminals wiped her clean of nearly all of it, leaving her with only $1.20.

"It's been pretty hard so I just been trying to make it" said victim.

But this screenshot shows $523 withdrawn from Instanbul marketplace in Phoenix Arizona. But the mom tells News 3 she's never been to Arizona, leaving her with many questions on how her card was compromised.

" I didn't think that was even possible to even do that."

Our News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones asked the victim—Did you ever receive a text or alert saying that your card had been used by someone else?

" No I did not receive anything" said victim.

Jones reached out to Chesapeake Human Services and they did confirm with me they're aware of phishing attacks. They said the biggest tip for users is to not give out your pin anytime to anyone and make sure to change that pin often.

Now left high and dry when it comes to this mom's EBT benefits, fraud experts say whether it's skimming or having your account information compromised, getting the money back is nearly impossible. But this victim is hoping for a positive outcome.

" I haven't got back nothing yet, I'm praying."

What to do if this happens to you? The Virginia department of Social Services is asking you to call their help desk using the number 1-866-281-2442.