Protecting yourself against public assistance fraud

fraud

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dozens of people gathered at Montgomery County’s Department of Job and Family Services for a free workshop to help recognize, report, and prevent public assistance fraud with a heavy focus on food assistance.

“We have people who sell their food assistance cards for less than they’re worth to get cash in hand, and we also have people who say the card is lost when in fact it’s not,” said Kevin Lavoie, Communications Coordinator for Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services.

About 90,000 people in Montgomery County receive food assistance, and last year, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services gave out about three billion dollars in SNAP food benefits. However, only 2.2 percent of assistance programs have fraud claims against them.

Last year, Montgomery County collected about $641,000 against fraudulent claims.

Officials say the signs of fraud can be obvious.

“People sometimes can spot fraud on the internet. People will post on certain websites that they have this food assistance card available. It’s a risky and stupid thing to do, but it happens. People will also stand outside of stores and say you can swipe my card for forty bucks and all you have to do is give me twenty bucks,” said Lavoie.

If you need to report fraud, you can call Montgomery County’s Fraud Hotline at 937-225-6035.

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