SNAP Benefits Skimmer Scammers Discovered in Williamsburg

By Matis Glenn


Scammers targeted needy members of the Williamsburg Orthodox community last week, using “skimming” devices to track their SNAP benefits card numbers and use the ill-gotten information to withdraw cash, Shomrim tells Hamodia.

Shomrim of Williamsburg received dozens of calls from frantic parents, who rely on SNAP to feed their families, saying that their balance had dropped to zero unexpectedly.

After launching an investigation, Shomrim members discovered a “skimming” machine – an attachment which reads debit or SNAP cards and PIN numbers – attached to the payment terminal of a Lee Avenue market on Friday.

The payment cards were allegedly used by the criminals to buy food in Pennsylvania, Shomrim said. The volunteer safety organization is currently combing through surveillance footage to try and identify the culprits, as the NYPD carries out its own investigation.

Victims need to contact New York City’s HRA services and file a police report in order to recoup their losses.

“Whenever you pay using a debit card, pay attention to the terminal and see if there are any add-ons unusual machinery, especially near where the card is entered,” Yanky Itzkowitz, coordinator for Williamsburg Shomrim told Hamodia.

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