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Nashville Dad Ends Up with Only $1 in His EBT Card After Snap Benefit Scam

Scam Alert
Photo by Gustavo Fring via Pexels

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – Dale Piar left Kroger empty-handed last week after last-minute Thanksgiving shopping. He had the turkey and all the sides, but his EBT card was rejected.

He attempted numerous times, but his card was denied, and he discovered he just had $.88 left.

Scam Alert

Photo by Gustavo Fring via Pexels

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Piar and his kid visited many grocery stores after their card was loaded this month. On their second trip, the card was declined.

Piar called the Tennessee Department of Human Services immediately. The department officials said they and the Office of Inspector General are aware of complaints of EBT card fraud due to card skimming. They said they are working with their federal colleagues and law enforcement authorities to determine what to do next, including whether we can reissue stolen benefits. 

Piar takes care of his disabled son, even though he is on Social Security. He also doesn’t own a car, so he’s afraid he won’t be able to get food until his card gets more money next month.

When Piar asked if the department would replace the benefits, he was told no, not this time. He also asked if they could give my son emergency benefits and me, but he also got a no. 

EDT Cardholders Should Be Extra Careful

TDHS wants people with EBT cards to be careful and protect themselves from scams. Some tips came from the department:

If someone got their hands on your EBT card, call the EBT Customer Service line at 1-888-997-9444 to report it as stolen. The card will be disabled and replaced. Customers can also alter their PIN when they phone the EBT Customer service line.

Also, report to the local police.

Call the OIG fraud hotline at 1-800-241-2629 to report card skimming fraud to TDHS/OIG. Unlike a bank card or credit card, you can’t merely add additional money to your account. The Tennessee Department of Human Services and our federal partners are trying to reinstate stolen benefits.

Use only untampered card readers to avoid card skimming fraud. They should inspect the machine for unusual damage, glue marks around the card reader, a unique keyboard, loose parts, and other oddities.

Not the Only Victim

Piar is not alone in his struggle. NewsChannel 5 covered the Pigg family’s similar experience in August.

TDHS reports 870 Tennessee victims.

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