Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Thieves tied to Romanian organized crime are continuing to steal public assistance funds intended for California’s neediest residents through sophisticated skimming operations using hidden devices at gas pumps, checkout counters, or ATMs to record a victim’s card numbers and then use the stolen information to drain victims’ accounts, according to the OCDA.

In 2023, EBT thieves stole more than $108 million in CalWORKs benefits (Cash aid to dependent families), including funds intended to buy diapers, formula, and food. The Orange County District Attorney’s Public Assistance Division, in collaboration with Orange County law enforcement officials, reduced EBT fraud across Orange County by nearly 55% between January 2023 and January 2024.

It is critical that EBT recipients remain vigilant to protect their funds from being stolen. The single most effective way to protect your funds from being stolen is to change your PIN number on the last day of every month to prevent thieves from using the stolen PIN numbers to drain your account when new funds are deposited beginning the first of the month.

If you are the victim of EBT fraud, call 800-281-9799 for assistance. The state recently changed the regulations governing replacement of stolen funds to allow recipients to be reimbursed retroactively in some cases. You have 90 days to complete a Report of Electronic theft form to be eligible to receive retroactive benefit replacements. The form can be found here:

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

One thought on “Romanian suspects continue to steal millions in EBT funds from Orange County residents”
  1. They are not Romanians they are GIPSIES! Stop calling them Romanians! We the Romanian people are very hard working people!

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