Restoring Hope: SACSS provides assistance for stolen SNAP benefits

Restoring Hope: SACSS provides assistance for stolen SNAP benefits

As millions of dollars of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits are being stolen, SACSS has helped 20 clients this month who have been victims of fraud theft and are reapplying to recoup their benefits that help them buy healthy, nutritious food.

Through SNAP, people receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card that is used as a debit card. Through “card skimming,” thieves place an illegal device on an ATM or a retailer’s card-swiping machine to copy EBT card information. Criminals can then use the information to make fake EBT cards to buy food and beverages from SNAP-authorized stores using stolen SNAP benefits.


“I had a client who purchased milk, and the next day he went to purchase something and was told there was no money on his card,” said Mary Archana-Fernandez, SACSS director of Family Support Services. “We found out that all of the money had been swiped in a deli in Philadelphia.”

Another long term SACSS client said she was scared and couldn’t sleep after her benefits were stolen, and thought she would become a victim of credit card fraud.

“Some people have had $390, $400 and more wiped out of their account,” Archana-Fernandez said. “A lot of these are people who are seniors and don’t speak the language and are scared.”

In order to receive a reimbursement, SACSS clients report SNAP theft to the NYC Human Resources of Administration (HRA) department. Last year, SACSS was successful in helping our clients receive their reimbursement.