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Hochul signs legislation to protect low-income New Yorkers from fraud


Thu, Dec 21st 2023 07:40 pm

Legislation S.6088/A.4023-A requires stores accepting electronic benefit transfer cards to warn customers of skimming and how they can protect themselves from the practice

Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation S.6088/A.4023-A to protect low-income New Yorkers from fraud by requiring stores accepting electronic benefit transfer cards to warn of skimming.

Her team said, “Skimming occurs when a scammer installs a device at a point-of-sale terminal that skims the holders’ card data and pin number, allowing the scammer to drain the victim’s benefits. By raising awareness about skimming, this legislation will help prevent New Yorkers from falling victim to this practice and losing their SNAP benefits or cash assistance.”

Hochul said, “From baby formula to fresh food, New Yorkers use their EBT cards to cover the cost of essential products to ensure their families are fed and healthy. We are taking action to protect New Yorkers from scammers who steal money out of their pockets by making sure customers are aware of skimming, and ensuring they know how to protect themselves from falling victim.”

Hochul’s team added, “Many New Yorkers are unaware of skimming until it’s too late. Once skimmers steal an individual’s card data and pin number, they have the ability to drain the victim’s benefits. Legislation S.6088/A.4023-A helps protect consumers by requiring businesses who accept EBT cards to place a sign at the point of sale containing a notice to make customers aware of the practice. Additionally, the legislation requires the notice to include steps customers can take to protect themselves and other resources.”

Assembly member Nily Rozic said, “Every day, more low-income New Yorkers are at risk of having their SNAP benefits stolen with no recourse. That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness and provide consumer protections for those who rely on their EBT cards to help put food on their table.”

New Yorkers who have had their SNAP or Public Assistance benefits stolen electronically can fill out an application to have them replaced. Hochul’s team said, “All EBT cardholders, however, should remain vigilant about these scams and take several basic precautions to protect themselves, including carefully inspecting point-of-sale devices, changing their PIN regularly, and reviewing their transaction history frequently.”

Anyone who has their benefits stolen should immediately contact the EBT customer service helpline to report their card stolen and request a replacement EBT card. New Yorkers can contact the helpline by:

√ Calling 1-888-328-6399;

√ Visiting ConnectEBT; or

√ Using the ConnectEBT mobile app.

After reporting their EBT card stolen and requesting a replacement card, New Yorkers can get information on applying for replacement benefits here. Eligible recipients will receive the lesser of either the amount stolen or twice the full monthly allotment received in the month before the benefits were stolen.

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