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Department of Social Services addresses rise in EBT fraud

(This article is courtesy of KESQ-TV. Read the full article by clicking here)

The Riverside Department of Social Services is warning the public about a new scam targeting some of the most vulnerable people who rely on state benefits. According to DPSS, thieves steal more than 5 million dollars in statewide benefits every month with a method called “skimming”.

“Skimming” is when identity theft devices concealing cameras are installed on ATMs, point of sale (or POS) terminals and even fuel pumps to record people’s card information through holes as small as a pin hole.

This information is often stored on SD cards in the device or can be obtained through Bluetooth technology.

Skimming commonly occurs with regular bank cards but there has been a recent uptick of theft against those who rely on EBT benefits. DPSS says this is a growing issue in Riverside County, including Desert Hot Springs, with 50 to 100 thefts that occur monthly in the area.

“As the card goes into copies of data on the machine, they also need the pin number to go with it. So they install these cameras that we have here today. And the combination of the two pin numbers and the data is what they use to steal EBT benefits,” said Shawn Ferris, Police Chief of Investigations for the DPSS,” said Sean Ferris, Police Chief of Investigations for the DPSS.

(This article is courtesy of KESQ-TV. To to read the full story, click here)

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