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09/29/15

Information Memo

Summary:

  • The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has informed the IDHS of reports of the public receiving calls from what appears to be their Federal SNAP toll free information hotline number: 1-800-221-5689.
  • Callers from this number are requesting personal information and offering assistance for filling out SNAP applications or other non-SNAP related services. 
  • These calls are not connected to FNS or SNAP. 
  • Clients should be cautioned to never provide personal information or their credit card number over the phone.
  • FNS has reported the situation to all appropriate authorities for follow up, including the FCC and local police department. 

FNS is investigating reports of calls being made to the public from an outside source using their Federal SNAP toll free hotline number: 1-800-221-5689.  This poses a serious fraud threat as clients may be tricked into providing personal and financial information.

How to Respond

If a report of a call is received from a client, obtain as much detailed information regarding the call as possible such as caller id number, if the call was recorded, what was said on the calls etc. Email any information received on this matter to Dawn.Keiser@Illinois.gov with the Bureau of Policy Development.

DHS Website Posting

FNS has developed the following statement which will be posted to the DHS Website:

  • "There have been reports of the general public receiving unsolicited calls from what appears to be the SNAP toll free information hotline number: 1-800-221-5689. The unsolicited callers are requesting personal information offering assistance for filling out a SNAP application or other non-SNAP related services such as home security systems. Never provide personal information or your credit card number over the phone to unsolicited callers. This outside entity that has "spoofed" the SNAP toll free information hotline number is not affiliated with FNS or SNAP. If you suspect that you are receiving illegitimate calls from 1-800-221-5689, you may file a complaint with the FCC. If you have already fallen victim to this or a similar scam, please visit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ for more information on identity theft."

[signed copy on file]

James T. Dimas

Secretary-designate, Illinois Department of Human Services