OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Scammers continue to target SNAP customers, with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services now reporting $730,000 in stolen SNAP benefits since December.

Stillwater resident JennaRae Taylor said on Wednesday she got her monthly snap benefits — formerly known as food stamps — and 96 percent of it was taken by a scammer in New York.

“I downloaded the provider app for the food stamps, and it said I had zero dollars and I was like what is going on?” she told KFOR.

It’s a question many Oklahoma SNAP customers have been asking.

On Wednesday, Taylor was in a good mood because her snap benefits of $246 was replenished for the month.

That same day, the mother of one had only made a small grocery purchase at Walmart for $23.22, but when she then went to buy gas, her SNAP EBT card had a zero balance. She checked her account on a phone app and said it appeared a fraudulent transaction was made for $237 dollars at USA Deli in in Brooklyn, New York.

“I was shocked,” Taylor said as she considered her 14-year-old son. “It just puts me in a bind and I’m just afraid, like how am I going to feed my child? It just makes me mad how scammers are like this.”

Taylor said she called the OKDHS but they told her they can’t reimburse her money.

KFOR asked Michael Adams, a special agent in charge of the investigation at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Office of the Inspector General, about her situation.

“It’s something that unfortunately we’re faced with everyday seeing this. We absolutely care,” he said. “The plan is at some point we will be able to reimburse a certain amount of benefits.”

Adams said they submitted a plan to USDA on February 27 to reimburse those affected by this scam, but he’s still waiting on a status update for that. 

He said there have been more than 2,200 victims of the scam in Oklahoma since December, about $730,000 in stolen benefits.

OKDHS’ ongoing investigation has led them to scammers in New York, who somehow have a list of SNAP card numbers and then access them by testing out “soft pin numbers” such as 1-1-1-1 or 9-8-7-6.

“If you have a soft pin, something like 1-2-3-4, change it immediately because your benefits will probably get stolen,” he strongly advised.

OKDHS’ Financial Administrator Tom Pennington said they’re also working on moving from physical SNAP EBT cards to virtual ones on your smartphone that will be more secure. He said that transition should start taking place in the second or third quarter of 2024.