Louisiana DCFS Warns of Another Area Impacted by EBT Skimming and Cloning in the State

By Seraphina Frost
Published July 19, 2023

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Louisiana DCFS Warns of Another Area Impacted by EBT Skimming and Cloning in the State

Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana – Louisiana DCFS is warning of another area impacted by EBT skimming and cloning in the state.

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is quickly responding to a recently uncovered EBT cloning occurrence in Calcasieu Parish, marking the second such event in a week. Law enforcement in the area suspects that an unlawful skimming apparatus was positioned at a local retailer in the Lake Charles region in the previous month. So far, no affected individuals have been found, but an investigation is still ongoing.

DCFS has uncovered 12 victims from a comparable cloning incident that occurred last week in Allen Parish.

“We were able to catch both of these incidents early, limiting the number of people potentially affected. We are working closely with law enforcement to identify the subjects and any additional retail locations,” said Rhonda Brown, DCFS Director of Fraud and Recovery. “We are urging all cardholders to be vigilant in protecting their cards: Change your PIN every 30 days. Regularly check your purchase history. Check the point-of-sale device twice before you swipe.”

To take safety measures, DCFS is dispatching text notifications to all EBT cardholders who have recently patronized the impacted store. These alerts encourage these cardholders to promptly alter their Personal Identification Number (PIN). Modifying the PIN is a crucial measure in safeguarding benefits and avoiding unauthorized account access.

DCFS advises all EBT cardholders in the affected region to take the following steps:

  • Update your EBT card PIN: Access www.LifeInCheckEBT.com or immediately get in touch with the EBT customer service at 1-888-987-1117. Choose a PIN that’s one of a kind and not simple to predict. Steer clear of typical patterns or personal data.
  • Keep track of your EBT card usage: Consistently check your card’s transactions either through the LifeInCheck EBT mobile app or the official website. If you notice any questionable or unapproved transactions, contact the EBT customer service line without delay.
  • Exercise caution when using cards: Stay vigilant while doing transactions and inspect the card machine for any uncommon devices or indications of meddling. Conceal your PIN during entry to protect against potential breaches.

Illegal devices known as skimmers, which are installed on machines like ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or gas pumps, engage in stealing card information. They record the card details and PIN when the card is used. These recorded details are then exploited by criminals to manufacture counterfeit cards. Over $1 billion is pilfered annually from customers and banks throughout the United States.

DCFS indicated that it is dedicated to maintaining the safety of benefits and is actively collaborating with law enforcement agencies to probe the EBT cloning incident. The organization is implementing all essential precautions to safeguard cardholders and curb additional fraudulent actions.

To gather additional details regarding EBT cards, check out www.dcfs.la.gov/ebt or get in touch with the EBT customer service at 1-888-997-1117.