Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services warns users about potential scam texts

Two people hold and use iPhones.
Jeff Chiu

The state Department of Human Services is warning Pennsylvanians about a potential text message scam.

Some people have reported receiving a text message asking for EBT card information and claiming that their card is blocked — regardless of whether or not they take part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

While DHS does send some informational text messages, the department will never ask for information about an EBT card, SNAP, Medicaid or other public assistance program through random calls or texts. Officials said people should not respond to requests for personal information or details about the benefits they’re authorized to receive, and should avoid clicking on links to unofficial websites.

“Do not fall victim to identity theft. If you receive unsolicited text messages asking you for your personal information, it is a scam,” said acting DHS Secretary Val Arkoosh. “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.”

Suspicious calls and texts can be reported to the DHS fraud tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS (1-844-347-8477).

Questions about whether a call or text is legitimate can contact DHS’ Office of Income Maintenance. Inquiries about EBT balance and card replacements can be made through DHS’ EBT contractor, Conduent, at 888-328-7366. People can also check their EBT balance through the myCOMPASS PA app.

Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at