AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Health and Human Services Commission, or HHSC, is warning there has been an increase in reports of people who use Lone Star Cards being targets of fraud.

HHSC is urging Texans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, also known as SNAP and TANF, benefits to monitor purchases on their Lone Star Cards.

People can monitor purchases on the Your Texas Benefits Mobile App. The app also allows people to freeze and unfreeze their card and change their PIN, it said.

People can download the app on the Apple App store or Google Play.

HHSC says clients should protect themselves by checking their balance frequently and changing their PIN on a regular basis. Clients should also note that HHSC will never reach out by phone, text or email to ask for their card number and PIN.

“We hope these resources and outreach efforts will minimize the fraud we’re seeing in Texas,” said Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter. “We encourage clients to take immediate action to secure their benefits.”

Lone Star Card users are primarily being targeted through “skimming” and “phishing” schemes, according to HHSC.

“Skimming” is where devices are placed on card readers to capture information, and “phishing” is when a text message or email is sent to trick people into clicking a link or calling a number to share card information.

The HHSC Office of Inspector General, which operates the OIG Fraud Hotline, has initiated 32 investigations in the 2023 fiscal year involving Lone Star Card skimming. This is compared to 108 cases in the prior fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31, 2022, it shared.

A new EBT fraud web page in English and Spanish has tips and resources for clients to learn how to protect themselves against fraud.

Those affected by Lone Star Card fraud should take immediate action by calling the Lone Star Help Desk (800-777-7328) and reporting it to the HHSC Office of Inspector General (800-436-6184) and local law enforcement.

If clients need assistance with food, they should contact a local food bank or food pantry. They can find one in their area by calling 2-1-1 and selecting option 1, or by visiting