HONOLUU (KHON2) — On Sunday, Nov. 5, KHON2 News introduced the issue of compromised EBT cards.

Gina Mangieri learned that the Department of Human Services is investigating potentially compromised EBT cards.

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This came after KHON2 heard from viewers concerned they’d been hacked or scammed.

DHS said that more information from federal partners that fund the program is expected to come soon.

DHS also said that an update along with more information is forthcoming regarding the extent of the issue.

EBT is for electronic benefits transfer in which the United States government provides Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants with money to pay for food as part of SNAP benefits.

“When a participant shops at a SNAP authorized retail store, their SNAP EBT account is debited to reimburse the store for food that was purchased,” reads the site for USDA Food and Nutrition Services. “EBT is in use in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. EBT has been the sole method of SNAP issuance in all states since June of 2004.”

For the Hawaii Electronic Benefit Transfer (HI/EBT) system, the State processes financial assistance benefits that are provided by BESSD. 

“Payments distributed through this system are for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Temporary Assistance for Other Needy Families (TAONF), General Assistance (GA), Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD), Repatriates, Childcare, Employment and Training (E & T), First-To-Work (FTW) and the SNAP programs,” explains Hawaii State Department of Human Services Benefit, Employment & Support Services page.

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According to the site, in the fiscal year of 2014, SNAP helped put food on the table for an estimated 193,565 Hawaii residents which is equivalent to 98,440 families.

KHON2.com will have more information as it comes in from DHS.