Florida cracking down on food stamp fraud

DCF will now use the same technology as banks to verify identity

Published On: Jan 24 2013 07:38:05 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 24 2013 10:29:35 AM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Florida officials are cracking down on fraud in the food stamp program through a new system that verifies client's identities before an application is processed.
    
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Wednesday that more than $100 million was lost to fraud in the food stamp program from 2010 to 2011.
    
Department of Children and Families employees who administer the program will now use the same technology as banks to verify an individual's identity. This includes asking questions about the recipient's financial history and residence.
    
Food stamps are delivered through electronic debit cards.
    
The agency is also monitoring social media sites like Craigslist to stop people from buying and selling the debit cards.
    
Other steps include monitoring multiple requests for replacement cards and automatically closing certain cases when benefits expire.