A word of warning to Berkshire County residents. Well, all Massachusetts residents, really. Especially if you receive public benefits in some way, shape, or form.

Mass.gov reached out with a warning from the Department of Transitional Assistance(DTA) regarding recent skimming scams that have impacted DTA clients in a major way.

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According to Mass.gov, Bay State recipients of public benefits are strongly being urged by the DTA to change the Personal Identification Numbers on their EBT cards after recent skimming scams that have been targeting credit and debit cards, EBT cards, and PIN numbers.

The DTA reports that there's an investigation underway after an increase of banks and retailers have reported that their ATMs and card processing terminals had been compromised.

And "skimming" is the act of using an electronic device to steal card information from a card reader in order to create a fake card to steal money or other benefits. To protect yourselves, DTA is recommending that cardholders change the pin on their EBT cards as soon as possible.

Also, if you are a Massachusetts resident who receives TAFDC or EAEDC cash benefits, you can have those benefits sent to your checking or savings account through direct deposit.

According to the alert, the DTA also reports a phishing scam where:

...individuals are receiving scam text messages that their Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits have been blocked. The message directs individuals to call a number where they are asked to provide their P-EBT card number.

These messages are NOT from the Department of Transitional Assistance. Scammers send text messages to direct individuals to call a number to provide their P-EBT card number. NEVER provide your personal information or card number over the phone.

Do you want to further protect your benefits? Luckily, the DTA has created a webpage devoted to skimming and how to protect yourself. Check it out here.

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