Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, along with the Kalamazoo County Sherriff's Office (KCSO) are warning residents of a new phishing scam that could affect thousands of Michigan SNAP benefit recipients and their families.

The KCSO shared the information on a recent social media post saying,

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Michigan consumers... be aware of phishing text messages that claim their EBT benefit cards are locked. The message includes a phone number to call for help. Responding to these messages may allow scammers to access to the card’s funds.

What is SNAP?

SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a government-provided food stamp program. Funds are delivered via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or "Bridge Card" as they're called here in the Mitten.

These programs are available to low-income families and college students who need assistance. According to Bay City's ABC12 there are 1.31 million Michigan residents from over 700,000 different households who receive SNAP benefits.

How to Avoid Being Scammed

It goes without saying this scam could cause serious harm to Michigan families; worst case scenario this could force families across the state to go hungry if their funds have been withdrawn without their knowledge.

Should Michigan residents receive this text it is advised that you do not respond. To avoid being scammed authorities suggest:

  • Not sharing your EBT PIN with anyone outside your household.
  • Check your EBT account regularly for unauthorized charges.
  • Change your PIN number occasionally, especially if you suspect it was compromised.
  • Don’t click on links in unsolicited text messages.
  • Don’t respond to suspicious or spam texts.

The State of Michigan also has additional tips and information on how to avoid government imposter scams here.

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