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The Department of Human Services in Rhode Island is warning residents to be cautious when using their EBT cards to access state benefits, as phishing and skimming attacks have become increasingly common.

Acting Director Kim Merolla Britto revealed that more than 300 people have had their government benefits wiped out since October 2022, totaling a loss of $172,000.

Scammers are using skimming devices that look like credit card machines to gain account access, while others are using phishing emails or texts to trick people into giving up personal information such as their social security number and passwords.

DHS has been able to recover lost benefits through grants, but Britto warns that this is not a sustainable solution.

Residents are advised to change their PIN frequently and to contact the DOA’s Office of Internal Audit, Fraud Detection if they suspect their benefits have been stolen.

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