November 30, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Division of Human Companies (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh as we speak knowledgeable Pennsylvanians of a possible rip-off through which people obtain a telephone name from the “Division of Public Welfare” — the previous identify of DHS — asking for details about people’ utility help. The scammer then states that the person overpaid for utilities and asks for financial institution card info to supply a refund.

  DHS won’t ever ask for details about any public help packages or private monetary info by way of unsolicited or random telephone calls or texts. Please report any texts or calls about DHS advantages that appear suspicious by calling the DHS fraud tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS (1-844-347-8477).  

“When you obtain unsolicited telephone calls from somebody claiming to be from the Division, and they’re asking you on your private info, it’s a rip-off,” Arkoosh mentioned. “Please don’t fall sufferer to identification theft. When you ever obtain a suspicious name asking you for details about your advantages or on your monetary info, please inform the DHS fraud tip line instantly so the right authorities can examine.”   

State Inspector Common Lucas M. Miller echoed this, including, “We wish to be sure you obtain the advantages you want, and we’d like your assist to guard public help packages. If you recognize any particular person or enterprise who’s making an attempt to steal public advantages, report them to the Workplace of State Inspector Common (OSIG).”  

The general public could make such studies by means of OSIG’s web site or by calling the Public Help Fraud Tipline at: 1-800-932-0582.

DHS does ship informational textual content messages and telephone calls to individuals who obtain SNAP, Medicaid, and different advantages from the quantity 1-833-648-1964. Nonetheless, DHS’ textual content messages won’t embody: 

•  Particulars about an individual’s advantages, comparable to the quantity of SNAP they’re approved to obtain.  

•  A request for particular private info 

•  Hyperlinks to unofficial websites; most DHS texts will direct folks to, COMPASS, or a website that ends in .gov or .org.  

Pennsylvanians who’ve questions on whether or not a name, textual content, letter, or different communication is reliable ought to contact DHS’ Workplace of Revenue Upkeep.

DHS does, at instances, make telephone calls to folks receiving advantages to allow them to learn about adjustments that might have an effect on their advantages or upcoming renewal dates. These texts and calls are supposed to be informational and won’t reference particular account numbers.

Due to federal adjustments to SNAP and Medicaid, textual content alerts have been a part of DHS’ aggressive, multi-pronged outreach plan to achieve Pennsylvanians and inform them of the adjustments. Outreach to Medicaid recipients is ongoing and can proceed to incorporate these texts, mail, e-mail, and telephone calls to make sure they’re conscious of the federal motion affecting their advantages; a schedule and copies of communications is out there on DHS’ web site.

Purposes for public help packages may be submitted on-line at: On-site County Help Workplace (CAO) companies can be found if purchasers can’t entry on-line companies or want help that can’t be accessed by means of the COMPASS web site, the MyCOMPASS PA cell app, or by calling the Buyer Service Facilities at: 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia purchasers or 1-877-395-8930 for purchasers in all different counties