Report: Identity theft scams target DSS benefit recipients


Clients of the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) — especially some recipients of federal benefit programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — have been targeted by possible phishing scams, according to a DSS release.

A phishing scam is a fraudulent attempt to acquire personal identifying information from a victim. DSS is reporting that the current scams may include threatening people with an arrest.  DSS has reported these possible phishing scams to the proper law enforcement authorities, and the agency is cooperating with an ongoing investigation.

In some authentic cases, genuine DSS employees may request that clients confirm personal information over the phone.  However, agency staff will never threaten clients for information nor ask for credit card and/or bank account information.

Anyone who receives a call from DSS and believes it to be fraudulent should hang up and contact the nearest county DSS office. Constituents may make a report of suspected scam calls by e-mailing or calling (803) 898-1437.

From Staff Reports / Posted August 10, 2019