State Warns About Fake Public Aid Websites

By: Associated Press, James Buechele Email
By: Associated Press, James Buechele Email

By: James Buechele
February 25, 2013

Keep up your guard. That's from the Department of Children and Families.

They want those who use EBT cards in Florid to watch what information they give out to unknown parties. Fake websites are offering free assistance but before that, they ask for things like personal EBT numbers.

"[The fake website] looks official," says DCF press secretary Erin Gillespie. "It has information, it talks in the terms that we use and basically they take information from our website."

If you're looking for help, those fakes sites are the first thing to pop up in search engines when you type in the phrase 'food stamps Florida'.

It's not just the internet that's a threat. Now the other sites offer free apps that promise the same thing but not before you give up that info.

"These are just apps that people come up with and they say 'oh we'll connect your EBT card and we'll give you your information' but these are people that should not have your private information."

"We want people to know that our system is safe and secure and that your information."


Associated Press Release
February 23, 2013

Tallahassee, FL- Florida's Department of Children and Families is warning about fake websites that offer to help people apply for public assistance.

The state agency said Friday that it had gotten several reports this week regarding websites that ask for financial and personal information.

DCF officials said there was only one website authorized to accept applications for Medicaid, food stamps or welfare, and it is run by the state. The web address is http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida .

DCF Secretary David Wilkins cautioned public assistance applicants to safeguard their personal data just like they would bank or financial information.

The department also cautioned about mobile phone applications that request confidential information from people who have electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards. DCF officials said such phone applications could open the door to potential fraud.


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