HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller is advising Pennsylvanians of a potential text messaging scam telling people they are selected to receive assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.
DHS and other government agencies do not and will not solicit participation in SNAP or any other public assistance programs via text, and Pennsylvanians should not reply or share any personal information if they are contacted in this manner.
“We are all living through difficult times, and unfortunately, there are people who will try to take advantage of others who may need help meeting essential needs,” said Secretary Miller.
“If you receive unsolicited or random calls or text messages telling you that you qualify for assistance then asking for personal information, it is most likely a scam. Do not respond, and delete the message so you do not get caught in an identity theft scam.”
The United States Department of Agriculture publishes information about potential SNAP scams, but Pennsylvanians should always be aware of the threat of phishing schemes through unsolicited calls and text messages.
Pennsylvanians who have questions about whether a call, text, letter, or other communication is legitimate should contact DHS’ Office of Income Maintenance. Clients in Philadelphia with questions or who need a paper application mailed to them should call the Philadelphia Customer Service Center at 215-560-7226. Clients in all other counties can call the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930.
If Pennsylvanians need help purchasing or affording food for themselves and their families, help may be available through SNAP. SNAP helps nearly 1.9 million Pennsylvanians by providing assistance each month for groceries, helping households purchase enough food to avoid going hungry.
SNAP is our country’s most important and most impactful anti-hunger program. For every meal provided by a Feeding Pennsylvania food bank, SNAP provides nine. While SNAP is intended to be a supplemental program, during a pandemic and historic unemployment, resources are strained, particularly for our lowest-income Pennsylvanians.
Applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. All Pennsylvanians experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic, a lost job, or a change in income are strongly encouraged to apply and see if they qualify for assistance with food, health care, and other essential needs.
For more information about food assistance resources for people around Pennsylvania impacted by COVID-19 and the accompanying economic insecurity, visit the Department of Agriculture’s food security guide.
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