California prides itself on being at the forefront of pushing far-Left policy on everyone, even as the state’s politics are wildly out of sync with much of the rest of the nation.
Whether it’s fuel standards that drive up the price of gasoline or open borders that lead to illegal immigrants driving up medical costs, the state has a nasty habit of making everyday Americans pay more.
Now, California’s complete incompetence puts U.S. taxpayers on the hook because of one action by Golden State thieves.
California officials say that thieves are wiping out the cash and food benefits from thousands of low-income families’ electronic benefits cards in the state.
The problem is that the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards issued to the welfare recipients lack basic security features.
The state grants food aid to 2.8 million families a year through the service, but the issued cards are vulnerable to theft due to a lack of security chips, which prevent thieves from utilizing “skimming” devices to copy card numbers and illegally withdraw funds.
EBT theft has nearly doubled since 2019 as cards lack basic security features
According to state documents, the amount of EBT theft has nearly doubled since 2019.
The problem is so pervasive that many recipients say they have been victims of theft multiple times in the span of just a few months.
It has gotten so bad that the state had to issue a public service video, warning about EBT fraud.
But it isn’t just the security chips.
Until last June, the state’s EBT cards didn’t even include the three-digit “CVV” security codes typically on the back of credit and debit cards that banks use for an additional layer of fraud prevention.
According to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal, the social services department is proposing to spend $76.5 million over the next three years to upgrade EBT cards with “enhanced security features.”
Lena Silver, an associate director at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, says, “To improve the security of the EBT system itself, so that people who rely on this very minimal food and cash assistance to survive, to bring their EBT system up to the same consumer standards that everyone else enjoys is the ultimate goalposts that we all need to be reaching for. I feel that the EBT system was like the last place where things are so unsafe and so poor in terms of consumer protection.”
Sadly, this isn’t just a California problem.
Taxpayers are the ones who will have to pay back all the victims’ reimbursements for theft.
In December, a Congressional spending bill was passed that allowed for theft victims to seek reimbursement through federal funds.
If California can’t figure this problem out on its own then federal pressure needs to be applied to protect the interests of hard-working Americans just trying to earn a living in Joe Biden’s lousy economy.
Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.