State warns about fake public aid websites

Posted at 9:43 PM, Feb 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-23 21:43:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's Department of Children and Families is warning about fake websites that offer to help people apply for public assistance.

The state agency said Friday that it had gotten several reports this week regarding websites that ask for financial and personal information.

DCF officials say there is only one website authorized to accept applications for Medicaid, food stamps or welfare, and it is run by the state. The web address is

DCF Secretary David Wilkins cautioned public assistance applicants to safeguard their personal data just like they would bank or financial information.

The department also cautioned about mobile phone applications that request confidential information from people who have electronic benefits transfer cards, known as EBT cards. Agency officials said such phone applications could open the door to potential fraud.