SNAP clients are the target of new phone call scam

Recently, the OIG Fraud Hotline identified a new scam where victims receive a call that appears to be from the Lone Star Card Helpdesk on caller ID. The perpetrators then try to obtain personal information like PINS, SSNs and birth dates under the guise of providing new or increased benefits.

The OIG worked with Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue a press release notifying the public of these new tactics to combat the fraud attempt. In the release, HHS Inspector General Raymond Charles Winter emphasized that benefit clients will never receive calls or texts requesting card numbers or PINs.

“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 who are uncertain about calls claiming to come from the Lone Star Card Help Desk should hang up and call the number on the back of their benefits card. Anyone affected by Lone Star Card fraud should immediately call the Lone Star Card Help Desk at 800-777-7328, report it to the OIG at 800-436-6184, and contact their local law enforcement agency.

In Texas, those who alter their caller ID to mimic another person or entity—known as spoofing— face civil penalties of $1,000 per call made and Class A misdemeanor prosecutions punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000. Those who receive spoof calls can report the incident to the Texas Attorney General’s Office for investigation.