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Elk Grove Citizen

How to Protect Yourself from EBT Theft

Mar 19, 2024 03:14PM ● By Sacramento County News Release

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - California has been experiencing an increase in the occurrence of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) theft. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is providing security tips and information on how to protect your benefits that can be found on their website at in English and Spanish.     

How EBT Theft Occurs

EBT Skimming occurs when a thief places a device on a retailer's card-swiping machine to copy your EBT card information so they can steal your EBT benefits.

EBT Scamming occurs when a thief deceives you into giving out your personal information so they can steal your EBT benefits. Personal information includes your EBT card number, EBT PIN number, social security number, or bank information. 

How to Protect Your Benefits with ebtEDGE

A new mobile app and web-based portal called ebtEDGE​ provides new features for EBT cardholders in California, allowing them to better protect their CalFresh and CalWORKs benefits. Features include freezing and unfreezing your account, monitoring transactions for suspicious activity, blocking online and out-of-state transactions, changing your pin, and more. The free app is available for download in the Apple App store and Google Play store. Web-based access is available at      

How to Report EBT Theft

If you think your benefits may have been stolen, you should immediately call the customer service telephone number on the back of your EBT card, 877-​328-9677, and the Sacramento County office at 1-800-560-0976. 

In addition to calling to report EBT theft, you must turn in a completed EBT 2259 form to the nearest Sacramento County office within 90 calendar days from the date of the theft. You can find the forms and more details online at The county will investigate and process the claim within 10 business days.   

To learn more about how to protect yourself from EBT theft, visit or view th​e CDSS “Watch Out for EBT Scams” videos in English or Spanish