- Fraudsters are stealing government-supported cash and food assistance from anti-poverty programs in the US through phishing and skimming techniques.
- The fraud rate for SNAP is estimated to be 15% by Haywood Talcove of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, while the USDA predicts a much lower rate of 0.01-0.02%.
- Maryland recently announced that $2.5m was stolen from its food assistance programme between October and February; California says it reimbursed $7.4m in food aid and $39.7m in cash assistance due to electronic theft between July 2021 and November 2022.
- The Government Accountability Office estimates that $281bn was lost by the federal government during the 2021 fiscal year due to overpayment to eligible individuals or paying the wrong person.
- States are trying to adopt anti-fraud measures such as upgrading security for debit cards and hiring vendors that meet certain criteria.
Theft from America’s anti-poverty programmes seems troublingly easy
Fraudsters are stealing government-supported cash and food assistance from anti-poverty programs in the US. The USDA predicts a fraud rate of 0.01-0.02%.