I-TEAM: DHS warning FoodShare members of phishing text that could steal your benefits

DHS said it's important to treat your FoodShare Benefits like a normal debit card by checking it regularly.
Posted at 9:27 AM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 10:27:45-04

MILWAUKEE — A new, fake text message is going around targeting some of Wisconsin's most vulnerable. The Department of Health Services (DHS) is warning FoodShare Benefit members after an account was compromised, leaving a family with no money for food.

DHS said the fake text message asks members to respond by confirming an account number and PIN. All of this is to avoid your "account from being locked." However, DHS said that this text isn't real and not to give up your personal information.

"Individuals may give their card number and their pin which then lets the unauthorized user spend the money and their benefits. The member may not know that and ultimately when they're at the store with their cart full of food and are left with needing to feed their families," Tabitha Ramminger, the Deputy State Inspector General, said.

Ramminger said her office is now investigating this fake text message and trying to warn others before they're compromised. So far, DHS said they've received one report of this happening. However, Ramminger said they want members to take additional steps to protect themselves ahead of receiving a text.

"When the fraud is happening, these individuals aren't taking a little bit off the top from these accounts, they're wiping out the card. The unauthorized user, is who we call them, is waiting until there's a lot of money on that account and completely taking all the money out of that account," Ramminger explained.

DHS and Ramminger said it's important to treat your FoodShare Benefits like a normal debit card by checking it regularly. To protect yourself further you should change your password and avoid using email addresses or the names of family members and pets, avoid using your birthday or repeating numbers for a PIN, block out-of-state and online purchases, and lastly, confirm the email or text came from DHS.

DHS said they will never ask for your personal information in a text message or email.

DHS has provided an extensive list of ways to protect yourself and your FoodShare Benefits. Visit to learn more.