As if there isn’t enough to have to worry about in Baltimore, families now have to add fraud to the lists.
According to the Maryland Department of Human Services, there is an increasing problem with fraudsters stealing from families who rely on SNAP or Temporary Cash Assistance. Officials say that there have been dozens of victims affected within the last month alone.
According to FOX Baltimore, between May 9 and May 25, there have been at least 48 compromised benefit complaints from Marylanders enrolled in these programs.
A spokesperson for Maryland DHS says they are working with other state and federal agencies to hopefully catch and prosecute whoever is responsible:
“The Department of Human Services is working in conjunction with the USDA Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services OIG, and our Department of Human Services OIG, as well as the Office of the Attorney General for our Department of Human Services, in order to investigate this and hopefully catch and prosecute the offenders. Additionally, our Department has embarked on an educational awareness campaign to inform our recipients to be mindful of where they swipe and to pay close attention to the devices themselves, along with tips and steps they can take to protect their cards.
Despite families relying on the benefits for necessities, the state is not replacing stolen benefits.
The Department of Human Services is assisting Maryland fraud victims with emergency cash assistance, connecting households to the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) emergency rental assistance, and referring them to a network of food banks, food pantries, and food programs. Marylanders can learn more about the Emergency Cash Assistance program here on our Department’s website and apply for emergency cash assistance online via the Consumer Portal, visiting any of the 24 local Departments of Social Services, and by calling 1-800-332-6347 (TTY 1-800-735-2258). Detailed information on DHCD’s Emergency Rental Assistance program, as well as where to apply, can be found on their website.
Gillespie hopes the state will change its mind.”
Stay vigilant, Baltimore and monitor the activity on your cards!