Post by DCF Secretary David Wilkins
My office was contacted by a young lady in Tallahassee who received food assistance. She is a young mom of four small children, has a job at the hospital and is working hard to become self-sufficient, but needs help making ends meet right now. Her SNAP and TANF benefits were stolen by a criminal in Miami on the same day they were put into her account. Because of federal restrictions, we do not have the ability to replace most of that money. Now she will have to worry all month about how to feed her children.
These are real victims. This is a real crime.
Today we announced the launch of more safeguards to combat this crime – and catch it before it even happens. We just updated the ACCESS web portal to include authentication questions – info only the real client would know – in order to protect their identity and their benefits.
We are also getting even more detailed analytics that will allow us to spot trends that may indicate fraud. We will investigate and we will catch the bad guys.
Each count of fraud is a felony, and we are working with law enforcement partners to persecute to the fullest extent of the law. It’s not IF we catch the criminals, it’s WHEN.