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Monday, January 07, 2013

Post Discovers Welfare-Card Scams

Belly up to the ATM, boys — drinks are on the taxpayers.

And maybe lap dances, too.

As a Post investigation has uncovered, welfare recipients are spending their cash benefits at strip clubs and in liquor stores — all part of practices that involve outright fraud that’s enriching both welfare cheats and local bodegas.

Reporter Kate Briquelet reveals today that it all revolves around two kinds of Electronic Benefit Cards (EBTs) issued by the feds to provide food stamps and cash assistance.

They operate like debit cards — recipients swipe them at a participating ATM or grocery checkout and enter their PIN, and the amount is deducted from their balance.
One is a grocery card that provides up to $668 a month for food only; the other pays up to $433 in cash for things like housing, clothing and utilities.

But some of those participating ATMs are located in strip clubs and liquor stores — and though cash transactions can’t be traced, the notion that the dough is spent elsewhere is a bit of a stretch.

But grocery-card transactions canbe traced — and some turn out to be real eyepoppers.



Anonymous said...

Uh, they're just now learning this?

Anonymous said...

I knew this went on but have never seen it first hand. NYE in my grocery store (in Silver Spring)the girl ahead of me bought a $100 gift card with her EBT card. The cashier rang it up and off she went. I didnt realize what it was until after it was over. I didnt say anything because i was in a rush. But it has bothered me ever since.