Tallahassee, Florida — Despite warnings from the Department of Children and Families, Food Stamp recipients continue to break the law by selling the benefits for cash.
There is a growing trend in Florida that affects both Food Stamp recipients and the owners and employees of Food Stamp authorized retail stores . It is called Food Stamp Trafficking. Food Stamp Trafficking occurs when through the use of EBT cards, there is an exchange of Food Stamp benefits with a retail store for cash. Trafficking also includes the buying or selling of EBT cards by citizens and stores. The advent of social networking has given rise to open selling of EBT cards by advertising them on social networking sites such as Facebook or on public listings such as Craigslist and eBay.
Food Stamp Trafficking in Florida is a felony. It is also a cash business that spawns other crimes within a community. Drugs, prostitution, and illegal gambling are all supported in part by Food Stamp Trafficking. It is a growing trend that is being addressed by local, state and federal Law Enforcement agencies.
Food Stamp Trafficking also takes place out in the open and is heavy around areas that have liquor stores, convenient stores, and laundry mats where heavy loitering is present.
OcalaPost.com didn’t have to search very hard to find Food Stamp for cash ads. A quick search of Craigslist list revealed two ads:
If you are aware of retail stores or citizens that exchange Food Stamp benefits for cash, buy EBT cards, or are receiving benefits under false pretenses (The recipient has claimed he or she is unemployed but actually has employment) you can provide a Tip to the Department of Financial Services by emailing: ReportRetailFraud@myfloridacfo.com
You can also call the number listed below in the event you do not have email.