ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has been shored up with a state-of-the-art security control system implemented by LexisNexis Special Services Inc. to block a potential surge of international imposters expected to attempt to steal benefits meant for victims of Hurricane Ian.
Haywood Talcove, CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ Government Division, told News 6 the company, hired by the Department of Children and Families within the last few weeks, has already blocked imposters who rushed the D-SNAP system when pre-registration started on Oct. 10.
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DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris announced that nearly 100,000 pre-registrations for D-SNAP benefits were successfully collected during the first week of “telephonic” interviews on Oct. 10.
Talcove said the security system operates in seconds, blocking unsuspecting thieves believed to be operating out of China, Russia, Nigeria and Romania.
“I would suspect there will be more people applying for D-SNAP benefits than there are people living in the state of Florida,” Talcove said.
Talcove and his team handle government security for 37 states.
A recent LexisNexis survey of SNAP programs coast to coast found that for every dollar of benefits lost through fraud, SNAP programs lose nearly 4 times as much.
“The money is not coming back,” Talcove said. “So the front end system is absolutely critical, we as a country need to take care of them (hurricane victims), and we clearly have the resources to do the right thing.”
Talcove said the security platform stops international thieves operating out of Russia, China, Romania, and Nigeria.
“At the end of the day … the state of Florida, will delight the individuals who have been traumatized because they got their benefits,” he told News 6.
Harris’ deputy chief of staff, Mallory McManus, stressed that residents should use telephone interviews with D-SNAP to get funds quickly.
“They will get a debit card in the mail and never have to stand in line,” McManus said.
Currently DCF is in Phase 2 of implementing D-SNAP, which includes Flagler, Highlands, Manatee, Orange, Pinellas, and St. Johns counties. Thursday marked the start of pre-registration for names ending with A-F.
Friday is designated for applicants whose last name begins with the letters G-N. Saturday is for applicant’s whose last name begins with the letters O-Z. Sunday will be the last day for phone interviews in all Phase 2 counties.
As a reminder, all applicants must pre-register online. Then, they can call the D-SNAP Call Center on their designated day. All details, including the online pre-registration form, can be found at www.MyFLFamilies.com/DSNAP
If you have an issue involving your D-SNAP benefits email email@example.com or text the words “make ends meet“ along with your issue to 407-676-7428.
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