Criminals using fake card readers to steal food benefits from families

DAYTON — Local police said that the problem of stolen food benefits for low-income families is exploding.

As reported on News Center 7 at 6, Dayton police said they are looking into 69 reports of EBT card thefts, just in July.

Jason Nichols previously told News Center 7 how he was victimized by people stealing his EBT card information and PIN to drain his account.

Maj. Brian Johns with the Dayton Police Department showed how accounts, like Nichols, are being stolen.

“These accounts are being stolen through a swiper,” Johns said.

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Johns had a swiper that detectives working on a fraud cause recovered from a store where scammers tried to install it.

“A store employee who was very observant saw some folks messing around with the card reader,” he said.

Johns said police are working with businesses that have been targeted and educating those that haven’t.

“It’s sad. I mean the people who have the cards they really need the cards,” Johns said.

Police said they’ve seen the stolen account money being used in states like Texas, Illinois, and New York.

Experts said people who have their benefits stolen should:

  • Change their PIN immediately
  • Request a new card by calling 1-866-386-3071 for SNAP benefits or 1-866-320-8822 for cash benefit theft
  • File a theft report with the police

News Center 7 will continue to update this story.

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