Navigating the Security Frontier: Havis Takes a Stand Against EBT Card Skimming


Havis emerges as a pioneer in the dynamic realm of innovative security solutions, consistently setting new standards in safeguarding payment devices and customer data. In its latest stride, Havis is tackling the pressing issue of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card skimming, reinforcing its commitment to security in the digital age.

What is an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card?

For any consumer-facing industry, whether retail, hospitality, or healthcare, self-service technology is not the future – it is the present. Self-service typically refers to instances wherein consumers (or, in this case, patients) go through the checkout or check-in process themselves without the aid of an employee. Of course, there may be instances where employees are required to step in to rectify any issues. Still, self-service is typically an excellent way for organizations to reduce the amount of labor power allocated to the checkout/in area.

Card Skimmers and Stolen FNS Benefits

EBT Cards, vital for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, have become an indispensable means for food purchases using SNAP benefits. However, the rising tide of criminal activities, specifically EBT card skimming, poses a substantial threat to the integrity of transactions for both retailers and consumers alike.

What is SNAP Skimming?

Criminals have perfected covert tactics, discreetly installing illegal card-skimming devices onto payment terminals. These deceptive devices clandestinely capture sensitive card information, mimicking authentic payment terminals with such precision that detection becomes arduous. Once stolen, the pilfered data becomes a weapon for card cloning, paving the way for fraudulent EBT cards.

Protecting Against SNAP Skimming

Recognizing the escalating concerns surrounding EBT card skimming, Havis has unleashed a full suite of state-of-the-art solutions designed to fortify payment device security and shield customer data from these threats.

Strategic Measures to Prevent EBT Card Skimming:

  1. Regular Inspection Protocols: Incorporate routine (preferably daily) inspections of payment terminals to promptly identify any signs of skimming devices or tampering.
  2. Surveillance Reinvented with Employee Empowerment: Install security cameras to vigilantly monitor payment devices and Point of Sale (POS) areas. Simultaneously, employees should be empowered through comprehensive training programs to ensure a proactive security culture where staff can promptly identify and report suspicious behavior.

  3. Investment in Cutting-Edge POS Equipment: Retailers should invest in secure payment mounting solutions equipped with anti-skimming and port-blocking security features. The utilization of stands, tethers, locks, and/or security screws adds an extra layer of defense, securing payment terminals and preventing unauthorized removal.


Havis’s Holistic Approach to Security

Havis’s proactive initiative to address EBT card skimming exemplifies the company’s dedication to providing comprehensive security solutions. By arming retailers with advanced tools and strategies, such as those detailed above, Havis aspires to create a secure transaction environment that not only safeguards payment devices but also shields consumers’ sensitive data from potential threats.

In the perpetual quest for security excellence, Havis continues to lead the way, ensuring that businesses and consumers can place their trust in the safety of their transactions. Together, we navigate the ever-evolving security frontier, fortified by Havis’s unwavering commitment to innovation and vigilance.


How to Spot EBT Card Skimmers

Identifying EBT card skimmers might seem like finding a needle in a haystack. However, there are several signs that can help you spot these devious devices. Typical visual indicators of EBT card skimming devices consist of contraptions that are designed to fit over the original card reader at ATMs and POS terminals. Always inspect the EBT card reader for any indications of tampering or suspicious attachments. This may present in the form of loose parts or abnormal movement. Likewise, be wary of any alterations to an ATM or POS system, such as the presence of small devices affixed to or concealed within the card reader that are capable of stealing data.


How Can Recipients Protect Their SNAP Benefits?

Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits can take proactive individual measures to protect their benefits and ensure they are not compromised by fraudulent activities.

Keep EBT Card Secure

Firstly, it is essential to treat the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card like a debit or credit card, keeping it secure and not sharing personal identification numbers (PINs) with anyone.

Monitor Your EBT Account Regularly

Regularly reviewing transaction history and monitoring account balances can help detect any unauthorized or suspicious activity promptly. Additionally, recipients should be cautious of phishing attempts or scams that seek to obtain personal information or EBT card details.

Report Lost or Stolen Cards Immediately

Reporting lost or stolen EBT cards immediately to the issuing agency is crucial to preventing unauthorized access and minimizing potential losses. Staying informed about SNAP policies and regulations can also empower recipients to recognize and report any irregularities, ensuring the integrity of their benefits.

Change Your PIN Frequently

Changing your Personal Identification Number (PIN) regularly is a fundamental practice in maintaining the security of your accounts, including those linked to Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. By periodically updating your PIN, you create an additional layer of defense against unauthorized access and potential fraudulent activities. Regular changes reduce the likelihood of someone guessing or obtaining your PIN through illicit means, such as phishing or card-skimming schemes. Moreover, changing your PIN routinely helps mitigate the risk of exploitation if your current PIN is compromised without your knowledge. Embracing this simple yet effective security measure bolsters the protection of your accounts and safeguards your personal information, ensuring peace of mind and financial security.


Eligibility for Replacement Benefits

Eligibility for replacement benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is determined by specific criteria set forth by the program administrators. Typically, recipients may qualify for replacement benefits in circumstances such as the loss, theft, or destruction of their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, as well as instances of unauthorized use or fraudulent activity on their account. To request replacement benefits, individuals must promptly report the incident to the appropriate agency administering the SNAP program in their state and provide necessary documentation, such as a police report or affidavit, to verify the circumstances surrounding the request. Upon review and verification, eligible recipients may receive replacement benefits to ensure uninterrupted access to essential food assistance. It is important for recipients to familiarize themselves with the guidelines and procedures established by their state’s SNAP program.


Recovering Stolen Benefits

Recovering stolen benefits can be a daunting process, but it’s essential to take immediate action. Here are the steps you should follow and the process you can expect:

  1. Detect unauthorized transactions on your EBT account.

  2. Contact customer service without delay.

  3. State agencies collaborate with federal law enforcement to detect suspicious transactions and exchange data on the use of cloned cards.

  4. They are obligated to return the stolen benefits to the victims of skimming.

EBT benefits, provided through temporary and disability assistance programs, can typically be recovered within 15 days or sooner after the incident has been reported.


Reporting EBT Card Skimming Incidents

If you suspect you’ve been targeted by EBT card skimming, immediate reporting is imperative. Not only does it aid in the recovery of stolen benefits, but it also assists in apprehending the criminals and preventing further thefts. The appropriate channels to report EBT card skimming incidents include your local SNAP office, HHS Card Services, the USDA Office of Inspector General, or local authorities.


Contacting Authorities

If EBT card skimming is suspected, the first point of contact should be:

  • The EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328 or HHS Card Services Equally important is alerting:

  • The local police

  • The POS equipment provider

  • The USDA Office of Inspector General

When reporting EBT card skimming, it is crucial to include specific details such as the location where the skimming occurred, the date and time of the incident, and details of any suspicious activities or individuals involved.


Resources About Card Skimming

Below are additional resources regarding EBT Card Skimming


Choose Havis for Your Security Needs

In conclusion, Havis’s proactive approach to combatting Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card skimming underscores our unwavering dedication to protecting payment devices and customer data. As the threat of criminal activities continues to evolve, our commitment to innovation remains steadfast. By equipping retailers with state-of-the-art solutions and empowering them with strategic measures such as regular inspections, enhanced surveillance, and investments in high-quality POS equipment, we aim to instill confidence in every transaction.

Together, we forge a path towards a safer, more secure retail environment, ensuring the integrity of payment systems and safeguarding the sensitive information of consumers. At Havis, our mission extends beyond meeting industry standards; we redefine them, setting a new standard for security excellence in the digital age.

Click here to learn more about Havis’s Retail & Hospitality solutions.

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Havis, Inc. is a privately held, ISO 9001-certified company that is the leader in providing robust and reliable end-to-end technology mounting and mobility solutions in demanding environments. The Havis legacy dates back over 80 years as a trusted designer and manufacturer of critical equipment that ensures critical technology is accessible, secure and reliable.

Havis’s engineering and manufacturing teams are committed to consistently researching and developing unique products and solutions for a range of industries worldwide. With headquarters in Warminster, PA, and additional locations in Plymouth, MI, Burnsville, MN, and in the UK, Havis currently employs more than 400 team members. For more information on Havis, please call 1.800.524.9900 or visit http://www.havis.com.

Enhancing Officer Efficiency with Havis & Samsung DeX
Enhancing Officer Efficiency with Havis & Samsung DeX