HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Val Arkoosh announced on Thursday, March 16 a new text scam regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Example of the text scam (Courtesy of DHS)

The text message asks for information regarding SNAP benefits and states that the recipient’s EBT card has been blocked. The text is being sent to people regardless of whether or not they receive benefits through SNAP.

“Do not fall victim to identity theft. If you receive unsolicited text messages asking you for your personal information, it is a scam,” Arkoosh said. “If you receive a suspicious text or call asking you for personal information, please inform the DHS fraud tip line immediately so DHS and the proper authorities can investigate.”  

Arkoosh also reminds residents that the Department of Human Services will never ask for information regarding an EBT card, SNAP, Medicaid or any other assistance programs by way of unsolicited or random calls and texts.

However, DHS does send informational text messages from the number 1-833-648-1964. But these texts will never include:

  • Details about a person’s benefits, such as the amount of SNAP they are authorized to receive,
  • A request for specific personal information
  • Links to unofficial sites; most DHS texts will direct people to dhs.pa.gov, COMPASS or a site that ends in .gov or .org

Below are examples of legitimate texts from DHS: 

  • “Is your contact information up to date with DHS? Don’t miss important info about your benefits. Update your information at dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS.
  • Your Medical Assistance and/or CHIP renewal is due. Your health care coverage matters. Complete your renewal now at dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS or by phone.
  • “Your renewal packet has been mailed to you. Please be aware that the renewal packet will take several days to arrive in the mail. Please note that you can use a computer to log in to your MyCOMPASS account and complete your renewal today.
  • Your renewal is due in 5 days. Please use a computer to log in to your MyCOMPASS account to complete your renewal today. You can also complete your renewal packet and mail it back to your CAO with the provided pre-paid envelope.

DHS strongly encourages Medicaid recipients to sign up for legitimate text and email communications through DHS so they can receive timely updates about their renewal and other benefits.