Area family struggling after SNAP benefits stolen, unable to get them reimbursed

A Dayton family said they could not pay for their groceries after someone stole their SNAP benefits.

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell spoke with a mother who was worried about how she was going to feed her children.

Most of the concerns about fraud involving electronic bank cards center around skimming at gas stations.

Now skimming is happening at other locations, like grocery stores.

“It said that I spent $312.83 at a B.J.’s in Massachusetts.” Teresa McDaniel said.

McDaniel was shocked two weeks ago when she prepared to go grocery shopping for her family of four and looked at her SNAP benefits account portal.

“That is our whole loaded amount for the whole month ... I haven’t even left the state,” She said.

McDaniel couldn’t believe records showed she shopped at a Massachusetts grocery store.

>> Nation’s cybersecurity agency using alerts to prevent the damage of ransomware attacks

She reached out to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services who she said told her 150 Ohio residents reported similar problems since January.

A letter sent to her from Job and family services said that last or stolen benefits are not replaceable.

“All she could do was suggest to report the car stolen and change my pin numbers,” McDaniel said.

We learned that people with SNAP benefits are vulnerable to attacks.

So much so that the secret service is looking into nationwide SNAP fraud.

>> DMAX resumes production, makes security changes after plant shooting last week

“It’s wide open, so you can use any reader to pull that information and that’s going to give the personal information, the card information and, of course, some other details,” Charles Leoperd, U.S. Secret Service Agent told CBS.

Haywood Talcove with LexisNexis Risk Solutions called the card “a glorified hotel room key.”

McDaniel isn’t sure if someone skimmed her number at a store or whether there was a security breach.

She does know that her financial problems are frustrating and scary.

“This month we used rent money to buy groceries so now we’re struggling to pay rent this month,” she said.

McDaniel said she changed her pin numbers and took extra security measures at other online retailers she uses.

Tips for keeping your SNAP benefits safe can be found here.