Headline News
Go Back

Scam targets Lone Star Card holders


The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is urging residents to be aware of a scam artist requesting Lone Star Cards in exchange for free cell phones.
Two women, living in different areas of Houston, reported a man in a van outside a dollar store was handing out cell phones to people with Lone Star Cards and telling them he needed their PIN to put minutes on the phones.
The women wrote their PINs, and the man kept both their card and the note with the PIN. He promised to mail the cards back after the cell phone transactions were complete. HHSC discovered the scam when the women called to find out when they would get their cards back. In both cases, someone had used the cards to get the client's benefits.
People who qualify for SNAP food benefits or cash assistance get their benefits on a plastic Lone Star Card. New benefits are loaded electronically on the card each month. Clients are cautioned not to share their PIN with anyone, and state staff would not ask a client for the PIN.
HHSC's Office of Inspector General is looking into the two reports of the scam. Anyone aware of additional cases can report them to the Office of Inspector General's Houston office by calling 800-436-6184.