MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee residents who had their SNAP benefits stolen by EBT card skimming or cloning can apply for reimbursement from the state beginning Monday.
The state of Tennessee says people who were victimized between Oct. 1, 2022 and Sept. 30, 2024 can apply for benefits reimbursement through the One DHS Customer Portal at OneDHS.tn.gov
Customers who can’t access the online portal to submit a request can also get a paper form at their local TDHS office.
SNAP benefit fraud through card skimming is a problem that may have impacted thousands across the country including Memphis.
WREG Investigators started getting an influx of calls this summer and spoke to multiple families who said somehow someone in another state stole their snap benefits.
Victims said when they tried to use their EBT card at the grocery store, they found out the balance was zero. They had to use rent money or other funds to feed their family.
“It’s been so hard these last couple of weeks. In and out of Wendy’s and McDonald’s. Just trying to make it,” said one mother in August.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services, which manages SNAP, said between July 1, 2022 and October 31, 2023, they have had 4,857 households that reported being a victim of SNAP (SNAP and/or PEBT) skimming, cloning, phishing or smishing.
At last check, in May there were 170,000 SNAP recipients in Shelby County. A majority of them were families.
Security experts said criminals use the card information to buy items like energy drinks and baby formula at big-box stores, then sell them at a discount on the dark web.
Congress signed off on states using federal funds to replace the benefits last December. Tennessee submitted its plan and launched the portal Monday.
TN DHS said for skimming incidents that occurred between October 1, 2022 – November 5, 2023, reports must be submitted by February 5, 2024 to be considered. For skimming incidents occurring between November 6, 2023 – September 30, 2024, reports must be submitted within 30 days of the date the customer discovered the fraud.
Households are only allowed two replacement issuances for stolen benefits within the federal fiscal year.
Customers can track their fraud replacement request status through the portal account.
Only the following types of fraud are eligible for replacement:
- Card skimming (when devices illegally installed on ATMs or point-of-sale [POS] terminals capture card data or record households’ PINs)
- Card cloning (when data captured by skimming are used to create fake EBT cards and then steal from households’ accounts)
- Other similar fraudulent methods (including but not limited to scamming through fraudulent phone calls or text messages that mimic official TDHS messaging and phishing)
To report fraud, call the Office of Inspector General fraud hotline at 800-241-2629.