Scammers sell food stamps on social media
PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - The scam is quite simple actually. You get food stamps from the federal government and turn around and sell them on the streets for 50 cents on the dollar. It happens more than you may think and the hustle is happening right on your social media pages.
For families on food stamps it's a lifeline to nutrition and helping put food on the table.
"They give us that for us to eat or have what we need," Michael Beander, of West Philly, told FOX 29.
But getting food stamps on Facebook? It's happening.
FOX 29 viewers sent us several posts. One woman in North Philly selling $150 in food stamps for 125 bucks on the 6th of the month. And on Craigslist where you could get 195 bucks in food stamps for just $95.
"You can go into just about any one of these corner stores and sell your food stamps for 50% of the value," Arnett Woodfall explained.
He owns West Phillie Produce where you can get fresh pineapples and bananas but you can no longer use food stamps to buy them. The store stopped accepting food stamps because too many people were trying to abuse the system.
"If 10 people come in here with a SNAP card, 8 of them want to sell me their food stamps the other two want to use them," he said.
We found taxpayer funded food stamps for sale all over social media and actually contacted some sellers. It didn't take long to get texts back from people ready to make a deal.
How big is the problem? After a major crackdown the United States Department of Agriculture who administers the program says in 2015 more than 46,000 recipients were disqualified from the food stamp program and more than 86-million dollars in fraud was reported for some the fraud is a sign of the times.
The USDA has a food stamp fraud hotline. If you wish to report fraud, please click here.