Scam warning issued for program

LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel has issued a warning about a scam related to the State’s Food Assistance Program.

In response, the departments are reissuing AG Nessel’s Government Imposter Consumer Alert. Criminals will sometimes impersonate a government agency or resource that provides a legitimate service in an effort to obtain someone’s personal information. When scammers make contact through a text message, it’s called smishing.

While this specific example doesn’t explicitly reference the State, it’s meant to make the recipient think it’s from a trusted source. MDHHS sends texts from a 517 or 800 area code, refers people to Michigan.gov websites and doesn’t use outdated terms such as “food stamps.” MDHHS does not use text messages to notify people they are eligible for benefits.

Anyone who wants to apply for food assistance or other benefits can do so through the State’s MI Bridges website.

If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell subscriber, you can report spam or smishing texts to your carrier by copying the original text and forwarding it to 7726 free of charge. If you cannot use 7726, you’re able to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.


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