GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Food benefits have been stolen from more than 600 Guilford County residents since January this year due to EBT cards being skimmed. It’s still happening at an alarming rate, but reimbursements are now going out to those impacted.

“It can always happen any time that there’s a point-of-sale terminal, and there’s cards that are reading only magnetic strip data. It is very possible anywhere,” said High Point Police Property, Financial Crimes, Fraud and Computer Forensics Unit Supervisor Lt. Kim Rieson.

Scammers have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars in food benefits this year from people in Guilford County using EBT cards.  

Guilford County Social Services just started getting money back to victims with the first payments going out on Aug. 28   

“We ask that the individuals or customers contact their local police department to file a police report and then take that police report case number and give it to the local DSS agency,” Guilford County Social Services Deputy Director Jairous Gurley. said

So far, they’ve completed nearly 300 forms for reimbursement for EBT card theft victims.

Social services has a task force dedicated to helping people whose cards have been compromised.

“We have a call center system set up for them to call in. We have windows set up for intake for individuals to come in specifically for the affidavits,” Gurley said.

Twenty-seven people in the last few weeks filed a report with High Point police regarding stolen EBT cards, and police found a skimmer on a payment machine at Walmart on South Main Street in mid-August.  

“Just be vigilant. Constantly check your balances. Constantly check transaction histories … Make sure that they are what they should be. And then if you do see something that’s suspicious, then report it,” Rieson said.

If you believe your EBT card information has been stolen through a skimmer, you are advised to report it to law enforcement, change your pin number and contact the EBT call center for a new card.

The Guilford County services call center can be reached at (336) 641-3000 for more information on reimbursement.