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Lorain County Job & Family Services

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Latest News & Updates from LCDJFS 

 SKIMMING: What is happening?

According to the Federal Food and Nutrition Service, Ohio is among a number of states being targeted by criminals stealing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This is known as skimming. In skimming, criminals use a device placed over a point-of-sale card reader that steals information from payment cards like SNAP EBT and cash assistance cards. This means SNAP or cash assistance benefits could be stolen without you knowing. 

If you have fallen victim to EBT skimming, please follow the link to download and print the necessary form to be completed and returned to Lorain County Department Job and Family Services within 90 days of the occurrence. The JFS 7011 can be found under Miscellaneous Ohio JFS Forms, and also can be found by clicking here.

 

What steps should I take to help stop this?

You do NOT need to ask for a new card. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services suggests these steps for anyone using a SNAP or cash assistance card. 

·         Take the time now to change the personal identification number (PIN) for your EBT or cash cards.

·         Change your PIN monthly, before each scheduled benefit deposit.

·         You may want to change your PIN after making an online purchase using an EBT or cash card and PIN.

·         Never share the EBT or cash card number or PIN if asked for through an email, text message, or over the phone.

·         Carefully look at any card reader before using your card: Skimming devices can be placed over the card reader. Check if a reader sticks out or doesn’t seem secure.

·         When using your card, cover the keypad with your body or hand to stop someone from seeing your PIN. Scammers sometimes try to get your PIN by watching from a distance.  

How do I change my PIN?

You can change your PIN by logging into your online account at https://www.connectebt.com/ for SNAP or https://www.eppicard.com/ for cash cards. You can also call 1-866-386-3071 for SNAP or 1-866-320-8822 for cash cards and follow the prompts to change your PIN. 

What do I do if I think my benefits were stolen? 

If you believe your benefits were stolen, change the EBT or cash PIN number right away.  Notify your local County Department of Job and Family Services and file a theft report with your local law enforcement agency. Contact information for your local JFS may be found at https://jfs.ohio.gov

For your awareness:

SNAP recipients now have the ability to lock their EBT cards using the EBT Cardholder Portal at
https://www.connectebt.com/

(In order to utilize the Mobile App, SNAP recipients must have registered/created an account on the EBT Cardholder portal). SNAP recipients are encouraged to select the ‘Lock Everywhere’ option when not actively making a purchase. This will reduce the risk for benefits to be fraudulently stolen.

To stay on top of potential scams, please visit USDA’s SNAP scam alert webpage at  https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/scam-alerts 

***If SNAP participants are unsure if a request for information is legitimate, USDA advises they contact their local SNAP office.  If they do not know their local SNAP office, participants should contact their state agency. State contact information is available at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/state-directory. If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, contact your local police department regarding procedures for filing a report.  You may also file a consumer complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.ftc.gov.  FTC is the federal agency responsible for protecting consumers from identity theft scams.

 

EBT Card Information

SNAP recipients now have the ability to lock their EBT cards using the EBT Connect Mobile App and online using the EBT Cardholder Portal at https://www.connectebt.com/.  (In order to utilize the Mobile App, SNAP recipients must have registered/created an account on the EBT Cardholder portal).  SNAP recipients are encouraged to select the ‘Lock Everywhere’ option when not actively making a purchase. This will reduce the risk for benefits to be fraudulently stolen.
Card Locked/Unlock feature available on the EBT Cardholder Portal.  “Lock My Card Everywhere” option was selected to reduce the risk of benefits being fraudulently stolen.

Additionally, SNAP recipients can now sign up for email and text alerts on the Connect EBT Mobile App and the EBT Cardholder Portal at https://www.connectebt.com/  SNAP recipients can choose to receive alerts for new transactions (purchases, returns, deposits, etc.) and if there are changes made to their account (address, PIN, password, etc.).  These alerts will help recipients to manage activity on their account.
Manage My Alerts page of the EBT Cardholder Portal. “New Transaction Alerts” and “Account Change Alerts”. In this example, Email and Text alert options were chosen for both new transactions and account changes.

 

New Program Information:  

 

 

 

Virtual Benefits Assistant: 

 

Click link to view: 

Ohio Medicaid’s managed care organizations health plan comparison

 

Self Service Portal Updates: 

The Self Service Portal to apply and check on eligibility for SNAP/TANF/Medicaid/Childcare assistance, has undergone a major upgrade. New features include the following:

 
1. The Portal is now mobile device friendly.
 
2. Users can provide verifications by uploading a photo of the document. 
 
3. Enhanced password reset functionality.
 
If a Portal user sees distorted screens after logging in, please have the user clear their browser cache and log back in. Users can typically clear their cache in the browser settings area of their chosen web browser. The Ohio Benefits Help Desk can be reached at (866) 846-4528 if a portal user encounters any issues.

Here is a link to the SSP... Self Service Portal