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Council on Aging - News

Posted on: August 24, 2022

Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) Focused Changing of EBT Card PINs to Protect Benefits

Image of Pin Pad at ATM

What is happening?

To protect DTA clients and their benefits from known skimming scams, DTA will be requiring cardholders in certain cities and towns to set a new PIN to use their EBT card if they have not received a new card or changed their PIN recently. DTA will be notifying cardholders before this occurs, including through dedicated outreach to residents with disabilities, older adults, immigrants, and survivors of domestic violence. Cardholders can change their PIN through automated steps by calling the number on the back of their card. If anyone has trouble changing their PIN, DTA is available to help.

DTA CommunicationsGroup 1Group 2Group 3
Notice 1: Clients who have not changed their PIN or received a new card recently will receive a letter on or after these dates, directing them to change their PIN or it will be removed soon
8/15/2022
8/16/2022
8/17/2022
Test Message: DTA will send a text message to clients notifying that DTA will remove the client’s PIN if they have not changed their PIN or received a new card recently and they need to select a new PIN
8/23/2022
8/24/2022
8/25/2022
Notice 2: Clients who have not yet activated their new PIN
will receive a letter in the mail notifying them todo so
9/6/2022
9/7/2022
9/8/2022

Why is this happening?

DTA clients have been the target of benefit theft through skimming. Skimming is a type of theft
where thieves put a device on a store’s card-swiping machine to copy card information. Thisinformation is used to make fake EBT cards. These are then used to steal money or SNAP from
real accounts. Skimming can happen anywhere someone swipes an EBT card. The federalgovernment will not restore SNAP funds if they are skimmed/stolen, so it is critical that we act
now to help clients protect these benefits.

What has already been done?

This was first identified in April 2022 for cash benefits and June 2022 for SNAP benefits. DTAhas taken multiple proactive steps to notify clients of these scams and ways to protect their
benefits, including: reminding them to change their PIN via text messages, adding an alert onthe agency’s mobile app DTA Connect, updating the message on the DTA Assistance Line, inserting flyers in regular DTA mailings and providing flyers in DTA local offices, sending out
notices, creating multilingual outreach materials, a dedicated webpage, and sending out amedia advisory.
Despite DTA’s outreach efforts, many DTA clients have still not recently changed their PINs,making them vulnerable to skimming schemes. This is why DTA will be requiring clients in
locations with a high incidence of skimming to change their PINs.

How can I help if I/my organization is located in an area of high incidence of skimming?

Please encourage residents to change their EBT card PIN now (Group 1: before 8/23; Group 2: before 8/24; Group 3: before 8/25), as well as continue to do so before each time they get their benefits. Outreach materials, including step-by-step instructions on how to change a PIN, are available at Mass.gov/ProtectYourEBT.Your assistance in providing DTA clients with information and assisting them with
changing/selecting a PIN will help them protect and access their benefits.

Cities and Towns

Group 1 Served by the Brockton DTA Office:

Abington, Avon, Brockton, Brant Rock,Bryantville, Canton, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Elmwood, Green Harbor, Hanover,
Hanson, Halifax, Holbrook, Humarock, Kingston, Marshfield, Marshfield Hills, North Easton,North Marshfield, North Pembroke, Sharon, South Easton, Ocean Bluff, Plympton, Randolph,
Rockland, Stonehill College, Stoughton, West Bridgewater, Whitman

Group 2 Served by the Quincy DTA Office: 

Accord, Braintree, Cohasset, Dedham,Dorchester (zip codes 02122, 02124), Dorchester Ctr, East Weymouth, Greenbush, Hingham,
Hull, Milton, Minot, North Quincy, North Scituate, N. Weymouth, Norwell, Norwood, Quincy,Scituate, S. Weymouth, Squantum, Westwood, Weymouth, Wollast

Group 3 Served by the Nubian Square DTA Office:

Allston, Boston, Brighton, Brookline,
Brookline Village, Cambridge (zip code 02163), Dorchester (zip codes 02121, 02125), Grove Hall,Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Milton Village, Mission Hill, Readville, Roslindale, Roxbury,
Roxbury Crossing, South Boston, Uphams Corner, West Roxbury

Steps to Change EBT Card Pin (PDF)

Steps to Change EBT Card PIN Slide 2Steps to Change EBT Card PIN Slide 1


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