Food rubber stamp recipients are transforming the federal government handouts into fast cash with ads top top Craigslist, in spite of efforts to stem fraud.

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The federally-funded grocery assistance coupons -- which are issued by says in the form of debit cards under the Supplemental Nutrition assistance Program (SNAP) -- space being offered on the online bulletin board and auction sites like eBay. uncovered several offerings in ~ Craigslist sites roughly the country, where the sellers available the welfare services at huge discounts from challenge value.

“If you need food. This is not a gimmick or game,” read one posting indigenous Philadelphia. “Please let me know, I have food stamps because that sale..... Major Replies only!!!”

“I have actually $500 worth and also it costs $350 cash. No I will not execute half!” read one more posting native the Atlanta area. “I don"t have to sell. If friend would prefer to get an extra $150 come $175 in grocery and also pay no taxes and can watch the advantage that you will still be saving then email me or contact me and we deserve to arrange the whole deal as quickly as you like.”

Those who room desperately hungry are likewise taking come the website, providing cash because that the stamps.

“DO YOU require SOME rapid CASH?? -- $100 (atlanta),” review the title of one such post, under i m sorry the buyer offered: "If you gain Food Stamps and also need some extra cash then hit me asap,” reads the post.

In one more posting indigenous the Trenton, N.J., area, the seller cases that that will have actually a $100 EBT card obtainable on Nov. 1 for $60.

Contacted through and asked about the legality of such a transaction, the seller cryptically responded: "Lol space u major is the govt legitimate of course yet I hve a customerGood job ."

The coupons room not supposed to it is in transferred, and also Craigslist"s plan lists them amongst the item that are not allowed to be marketed or bartered ~ above the site. But unless someone flags together a post, there"s small the sites, which operate in small, medium and large markets roughly the country, can do. Critics suspect sellers one of two people don"t require them any an ext because they have uncovered work, or just want come exchange them because that cash so that they deserve to buy medicine or various other items that are not allowed under the rules of the program.

"Fraud and abuse perform take ar in the food stamps program," Rachel Sheffield, plan analyst, legacy Foundation"s DeVos facility for Religion and Civil society said come "There room other types of fraud that also are problematic, such together recipients receiving excess services by failing come report a brand-new job or boost in your earnings.

"To minimize this kind of fraud, states must be compelled to cross-check the food stamp rolls against the National magazine of brand-new Hires. Those who have actually failed to educate the food stamp office of new employment should have actually their benefits suspended."

Sheffield additionally suggests that adults recipients must be required to re-certify for the assistance program every 3 months to aid prevent widespread fraud.

Nearly 50 million Americans are on the food rubber stamp program, which has exploded over the last five years, more than doubling the price to taxpayers. The electronic Benefits transport (EBT) cards space issued come needy citizens who qualify, and then replenished every month through buying power. Because the cards carry out not encompass a photo ID, a recipient who is looking to sell his or her benefits for cash deserve to simply do so and then report them stolen or lost and also be authorize a replacement. Castle could likewise charge a buyer lot more, and also never report the card as missing, effectively transferring their entitlement services for cash.

In may of 2012, the USDA attempted come curb the practice by offering individual states an ext authority to investigate occupants who inquiry multiple replace instead instead of SNAP and EBT cards. Those who requested much more than four replacements in a year would have to define why they shed cards, and could confront being reduced off completely.

“The U.S. Room of agriculture has zero yongin for SNAP fraud," a USDA spokesperson said in a statement come "We recently listed stronger tools to aid State agencies—responsible for pursuing recipient fraud—crack under on people attempting to sell benefits online. In addition, because 2011, us have functioned with online marketplaces, consisting of Craigslist, to far better monitor and put a protect against to the illegal revenue of SNAP benefits. USDA urges anyone that has information concerning potential recipient fraud come report this info to the USDA Office that the Inspector basic or to your State agency.”

With one in every seven Americans top top food stamps -- up a million due to the fact that June of last year -- the impetus to cut down on fraud is rising. According to reports, virtually 850,000 people were investigated for feasible SNAP fraud in the joined States and also 1,200 stores to be permanently eliminated from the food stamp regime for illegal conduct.

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"Since 2008, the cost of SNAP has much more than double from $34 exchange rate to $74 billion," according to Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. Who said in a recent press release that the Obama administration has enabled food stamp enrollment to explode, even beyond what an ailing economy might account for, in component by not pushing states come crack down on eligibility requirements.

Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter and also producer v Fox News Channel"s Investigative Unit. Monitor him top top Twitter in ~

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