FOOD STAMP SCAM: Check Out How Sleazy Companies Prey On Poor, Hungry Americans

Food stamp scam you win

Photo: Business Insider

Given that a record 47 million Americans now depend on food stamps to eat, I figured I’d poke around and see how food stamps work.For example, I wanted to know:

  • How do you get food stamps?
  • What are they?
  • What are the income and wealth eligibility hurdles?

So, naturally, I turned to the Internet.

And I found sophisticated sleazebags waiting to scam me! 

Specifically, I found a whole industry engineered to get money from Americans who have little money and a lot of time. And the continuous promise of this industry, of course, is…money.

I should have been prepared for this, of course.  But I was researching food stamps — a government aid program for Americans who don’t have enough money to eat. So my guard was down.

My search started the same place it would have if I had actually wanted to get food stamps: Google.

Then, finally, screen 6 offered to help with what I had come for--food stamps. So maybe there was hope that the scam might, in addition to scamming me, actually help me find what I wanted.

And even MORE immediate relief opportunities!

Of course, there was fine print. It said that, to get my grant money, I had to agree to get SMS messages. Uh oh.

But what the hell... I wanted my grant money. So I provided my info. As the screen said, the following offers might help me on my way to financial stability!

And THIS offer: Get $500 for an unemployment survey. ($500? Wow! Just for filling out a survey?)

And another offer: Apply for grants now!

And another offer: Get Paid For Your Ideas!

And there was another offer that sounded good: Make Money From Home Today!

That screen offered me a FREE $500 CHECK just for answering a couple of questions about whether I was employed. So I did. And I qualified for a FREE $500 CHECK! So I entered my email to CLAIM NOW.

And, finally, as promised, it seemed like they were actually going to send me a FREE $500 CHECK. They wanted to know where they should send it! (I didn't tell them. Because I didn't want to get those SMS messages. And, as I soon learned, telling them wouldn't have helped.)

And, wow, a $500 Gift Card For Groceries! Finally, I had come to the right place.

I provided my email address to get my $500 Gift Card. And then they wanted me to tell them where they should send it.

This time, I decided to check the fine print. I'm glad I did.

I can't remember what I did next, but suddenly I was presented with this screen, which was offering me a FREE $1,000 Walmart Gift Card. That sounded a lot better than $500 of groceries. So I answered the questions.

Well, after reading the fine print, I decided to give up. I'd try to find some other way to get food stamps. Of course, by then, my desktop was littered with floating popups like this one.

And my email box was filled with emails like this one...

And this one...

And this one...

All of which were filled with links to pages like this:

So I went back to Google and started again. And, finally, by clicking on a much more vague link, I found what I was looking for--information on food stamps. More on that later.

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