The North Dakota Department of Human Services is alerting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households about a telephone scam that is targeting program benefits. The program helps qualifying low-income households buy food.

In the telephone scam, a caller indicates that an individual or household will lose their SNAP benefits because he or she owes the program money. The caller provides a telephone number the individual should call to pay back the money using a credit card or another form of payment.

Michele Gee, director of the Economic Assistance Policy Division for the North Dakota Department of Human Services said, “Households that qualify for SNAP would never receive a telephone call about an overpayment or potential case closure.”

Gee said that SNAP households should not call the number provided in the telephone scam.

SNAP households should notify their county social service office if they receive any of these scam calls relating to SNAP benefits. County contact information is online at www.nd.gov/dhs/locations/countysocialserv/.

Program benefits are placed on an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card. Qualifying households use EBT cards to purchase food at approved grocers, participating farmers markets and other vendors.

In August 2019, SNAP served about 48,000 qualifying low-income North Dakotans. The federally-funded program tends to serve mainly low-income children, often in single-parent families, people with disabilities, and seniors on fixed incomes.

If North Dakotans have questions about scams or want to learn more about scam prevention, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-472-2600, 701-328-3404 or visit https://attorneygeneral.nd.gov/.