Information and video provided by the California Department of Social Services.

The San Bernardino County Transitional Assistance Department (TAD) is committed to protecting you from EBT electronic theft. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is continually looking for ways to improve security, reduce theft and simplify communications. To better protect yourself from fraud, the CDSS has prepared some useful tips for EBT card users for CalFresh, CalWORKs and other programs to safely access their food and cash benefits.  

Useful Tips 

  • Do not share your EBT card number, personal identification number (PIN), Social Security Number (SSN) or date of birth (DOB). Do not trust text or phone calls that ask for this information. Someone who knows your card number, SSN and your date of birth may be able to change your PIN. 
  • Change your PIN regularly. Your PIN should not be 1234, 1111 or 0000. These PINs are easy for thieves to guess. 
  • Never enter your PIN if you think someone is watching you. Always cover the PIN pad when entering your PIN. 
  • Do not use ATMs that appear to have been altered. 
  • Do not use ATMs with unusual signage, such as a command to enter your PIN twice to complete a transaction. 
  • Never write your PIN on your card or on anything you keep with your card. 
  • Do not keep your card and PIN together. 
  • Do not shop at a store you believe may be stealing your personal information or benefits. 
  • Never give your PIN to grocery store staff, farmers’ market staff, or any cashier even if they ask for it. 
  • If you have other EBT cardholders in your household remind them to keep their EBT cards and PINs safe. 

The county or state will never text or call you requesting your personal information such as your EBT card number and your PIN. If someone contacts you about your EBT account, you should not provide any personal information. Any other phone number you are asked to call for EBT is likely a scam to steal your benefits. However, if you call a local TAD office or the EBT customer service line directly, you will need to provide your EBT card number. 

Stolen EBT Benefits 

Imagine that you have $25 on your EBT card to buy groceries and when you get to the grocery store, the cashier tells you that your EBT card has a zero balance. Do you know what to do? 

Electronic theft is a form of identity theft. If you believe your cash benefits were removed from your account and you did not use your EBT card and PIN to withdraw the cash, electronic theft may have occurred. If you suspect someone has stolen your benefits from your EBT account, please immediately contact your caseworker or San Bernardino County Transitional Assistance Department office for assistance. You should also file a police report with your local police department (although this is not required). To avoid EBT theft, you may be able to have your cash benefits directly deposited into your bank account. Contact your local county office for more information. 

You may get your EBT cash and/or food benefits replaced if: 

You had your EBT card with you when benefits were stolen from your EBT account AND one of the following occurred: 

  1. Your card was skimmed by electronic equipment taking your card information without your knowledge. 
  1. You were scammed into giving an unauthorized third-party your EBT card number and  
  1. PIN.  This could be someone that you believed to be a contracted EBT vendor, an approved retailer, or a government entity.   
  1. You cancelled your EBT card and got a new card by going to your local TAD office or by calling the EBT customer service helpline or through ebtEDGE.  
  1. You completely fill out the California Health & Human Services Agency CDSS EBT 2259 form and give it to your county worker or complete and submit the form through BenefitsCal. 

Note – Scam replacements for cash benefits are limited to no more than one time in a 36-month period. 

Click on the link below for the form and instructions: 

EBT cash and/or food benefits cannot be replaced if: 

  1. You do not turn in a completed EBT 2259 form within 90 calendar days from the date of the electronic theft transaction. 
  1. Your physical EBT card has been lost or stolen. 
  1. You gave your EBT card number and/or PIN to someone you know, and your benefits were stolen by them. 
  1. Your electronically stolen food benefits have already been reimbursed twice within the current federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). 
  1. Please report any suspicious EBT activity to the California Fraud Hotline at 800-344-8477. 

Lost, Damaged, Stolen Cards 

If your card is lost, damaged, or stolen you should report it to customer service immediately at 877- 328-9677 to have your EBT card canceled. If benefits are withdrawn by someone else before you call Customer Service, your benefits might not be replaced. Once you report it, your EBT card will be deactivated so that the benefits cannot be used by anyone else. You should receive your new card in the mail within five days (excluding Sundays and holidays). 

Use ebtEDGE to Protect Yourself from Electronic Theft 

Use the free ebtEDGE mobile and web-based application to manage your CalFresh and/or CalWORKs benefits, check your balances, and review your transaction history – available now for download in the Apple App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android). No mobile device? No problem! You can manage your account online at

Key features include: 

  • Biometrics to login 
  • Reset PIN 
  • Freeze card and unfreeze card functionality 
  • Block out-of-state transactions 
  • Block internet transactions 
  • View benefit schedule 
  • View last 365 days of transactions 
  • Order EBT card replacements 
  • Connect multiple cards to one authorized account 

Pin Number Changes 

If you think someone knows your PIN, you should immediately call the customer service telephone number on the back of your EBT card at 877-328-9677 to select a new PIN over the telephone. You can also change your PIN at your local San Bernardino County Transitional Assistance Department office.  

Questions or Problems with Your EBT 

Call the customer service telephone number at 877-328-9677, which is printed on the back of your EBT card. Questions regarding benefit eligibility and/or monthly benefit amount, or anything else having to do with benefit eligibility, such as what forms to submit and where to submit them, should be directed to your local Transitional Assistance Department office. To find a location near you, please call 877-410-8829 or visit

Additional County Update News – April 25, 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *