Team 12 Investigates: Tips to prevent SNAP theft, scams
A News 12 viewer called in asking for help when he said he had nearly $1,000 in SNAP benefits stolen.
Bronx resident Robert Carrington's spending history of his SNAP benefits looked normal for the first few days of March until he spotted a $987 transaction at a Sam's Club in Virginia.
Carrington reported the theft to the city's Human Resources Administration, something any victim of an electronic benefit transfer scam should do, according to the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
Carrington wants his benefits back, but he'll need to wait until June to get those benefits back. It's now a federal law for states to have plans to return benefits and New York's plan was approved. By late June, Carrington should be able to submit an application to replace his benefits if they were stolen through electronic means. Not all benefits will be eligible, but ODTA hasn't yet specified which benefits qualify.
ODTA told News 12 eligible recipients will get the lesser of either the amount stolen or twice the amount you received the month before the scam.
Steps to take to prevent an electronic benefit transfer theft include keeping track of your benefits through your account, change the card's pin often, pay attention to card readers or loose keypads and report stolen cards.