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HHSC Warns Texans About Scammers Targeting Lone Star Cards



AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is receiving an increasing number of complaints about a phone scam targeting clients who use Lone Star Cards and receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

“There are millions of Texans who need our benefits, and we don't want them taken advantage of,” said HHSC Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Molly Regan. “We know how important these benefits are, so we're doing all we can to help prevent fraud and make it easy to report it when it happens."

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports that their Fraud Hotline is getting 10-15 complaints per day about the new telephone scam that involves a technique called spoofing. The scam mimics the Lone Star Card Help Desk, lulling victims into a false sense of security.

Victims report receiving a call that lists the Lone Star Card Help Desk caller ID (800-777-7328). The caller, sometimes a prerecorded voice, asks for the client’s PIN, Social Security number and date of birth in exchange for new or increased benefits.

“As the OIG Fraud Hotline identifies new and increasingly sophisticated scams, we want Texans to be able to protect themselves against those attempts to steal their information,” said HHS Inspector General Raymond Charles Winter. “Regardless of what the caller ID says, do not provide any personal information in response to an unsolicited call.”

Clients should note that HHSC will never reach out by phone, text or email to ask for their card number and PIN. If you are concerned about a call you received regarding your benefits, confirm it is HHSC by hanging up and calling the number on the back of your Lone Star Card.

Anyone affected by Lone Star Card fraud should take immediate action by calling the Lone Star Card Help Desk at 800-777-7328, reporting it to the OIG at 800-436-6184, and contacting their local law enforcement agency.

Anyone who lost benefits as a result of the scam can request replacement benefits through their local HHSC office. Anyone with an immediate need for food assistance can contact a local food bank or food pantry. They can find one in their area by calling 2-1-1 and selecting option 1, or by visiting 211Texas.org.

For more information on how to avoid fraud, visit the HHS Lone Star Card Fraud Awareness and Prevention web page.

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