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How to Check Your EBT Balance Safely

How to Check Your EBT Balance Safely

You need to be very careful as you decide how to check your EBT balance. Over the last several years, EBT scams have risen more than 4000% as skimmers, data phishers and other criminals have swiped card data and drained benefits accounts. If you aren’t careful, you could be next!


In this article, we’ll review several ways that you can check your EBT balance safely. Some of the safest ways to check your EBT balance include calling the number on the back of your card, using the official state government website, and using a trusted app like EBT Edge.

Beware of EBT Fraud

It is easy for fraudsters to steal EBT card data because the cards do not include advanced security features like chips. Although the government is working to resolve this, it is currently very easy for criminals to steal your card information.

The most common way for people to steal EBT card data is through the use of skimmers and phishing.

Watch out for Skimmers

Skimmers are illegal devices that can capture and store your card information when you swipe it at the register. The skimmer reads the data on the magnetic strip of your card and can tell the thief everything they need to know about your card number and PIN.


Although it’s tempting to check your EBT balance by making a small purchase or swiping your card at an ATM, this simple act could cause you to lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars in benefits if a skimmer is attached to the terminal where you swipe your card. It’s important to look carefully at the terminal before you swipe your card. Pay attention to any signs of tampering, such as loose pieces or misaligned parts.

Beware of Phishing

Unfortunately, there are ways for thieves to get your information online too. This is often done through phishing scams.

Phishing is when scammers use fraudulent text messages, emails or websites to get your card information. Many scammers send text messages that claim your account has been locked and you need to call in to unlock it. When you make that call, they ask for your card number and PIN. Once they have that information, they can make duplicate cards and steal your benefits.

It’s important to never click any links or respond to any messages that ask for your card number or PIN. Even the representatives from the state department in charge of your benefits will never ask for these things. Don’t be tricked!

Guard Your Information

Anyone who knows, observes, or overhears your EBT card number and PIN could potentially steal your benefits. That is all the information they need to create a duplicate card and start making purchases on your account.

As such, it is extremely important to be vigilant when you check your EBT balance. No matter what method you use, make sure that you are being discreet and safeguarding your card number and PIN as you go.

Safe Ways to Check Your EBT Balance

Of course, the best way to protect your EBT benefits when you check your EBT balance is to only use trusted systems. You can call the number on the back of the card, visit the official state website or use official state portals to get this information.


Fortunately, there are still several safe ways that you can check your EBT balance.

Call the Number on Your Card

Each state has a dedicated hotline that you can call to check your EBT balance. This number can be found on the back of your EBT card. When you call this number, you may be prompted to enter your card number in order to check the balance.

It’s very important that you dial the number carefully. Sometimes, scammers will purchase similar numbers in the hope that you will misdial and give them your card information. You can keep yourself safe by double-checking the number.

If you choose to call this number while you’re in a public location, make sure that nobody is nearby to overhear you. Anyone who overhears your card number or PIN will have all the information that they need to steal your benefits.

If you think your card information has been compromised, it’s important to change your PIN and alert the food stamps office right away.

Use the Official Website

Every state also has an official website portal that you can use to get information about your account. This portal may also be able to help you check your EBT balance.


Again, it’s critically important that you use the proper state website. Many scammers set up lookalike sites in the hope of fooling you into giving them your information. You should always double and triple check the URL in your browser before entering any information.

Only use the official website when you are on a private, trustworthy network with a secure internet connection. Many public networks can leave your information vulnerable to hackers. The safest place to check your EBT balance online is at home, using a password-protected internet network.

To ensure the safety of your account, it’s also important that you do not safe your log in information on your phone. This is especially true if you are using a public computer or shared device! If your browser asks if you would like to save your username and password, always decline. It’s also important to make sure that you completely log out of the system when you’ve finished checking the balance.

Keeping your browser and computer properly updated and maintained can also help you keep your information secure. That’s because hackers are constantly looking for security vulnerabilities, so developers are continually patching things. Make sure your browser is updated before you use it to check your balance.

Use a Trusted App

Many states use an app like EBT Edge to help you check your EBT balance easily. If you use your state’s official EBT app, you may be able to access additional security features that can help you lock your benefits when you are not using them.

For example, one of our readers recently sent me an email about additional security features in her state. Mapuana said, “In Hawaii we now have 2 other options to protect our SNAP benefits…  We can turn/slide the On & Off options on Interstate Transactions & Internet Transactions.  When I shop with EBT on Amazon I have to turn these options off & will immediately turn them back on after the transaction.”

However, there are some states that may not have an official EBT app yet. If that’s the case, the Providers App has proven to be a trustworthy resource for EBT users nationwide. In fact, it’s considered the #1 app for checking your EBT balance. It can track SNAP, cash, and WIC benefits.

One of my very favorite features of this app is that it will also track where you’ve spent your food stamps and it’ll show you your EBT transaction history. Knowing where your money is going will be able to help you make the most of those precious dollars.

Make a Purchase

Of course, when you make a purchase with your EBT card, you’ll receive a printed receipt with a balance written at the bottom. This is an effective way to check your EBT balance but it also costs money, so it’s not always very effective.

If you choose to do this, make sure that you carefully inspect the payment terminal for any signs of tampering or fraud. You don’t want to risk your benefits being stolen by a scammer!


As EBT fraud continues to rise, it’s important to know how to safely check your EBT balance. If you don’t take precautions, you could accidentally expose your sensitive card information to scammers who will steal your benefits. This article outlines several ways that you can safely check your SNAP, TANF and WIC balances while also safeguarding your benefits.