Columbus food stamp beneficiaries trying to make a buck online

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A WRBL viewer sent us a tip about a post on a local Facebook page that was causing quite a stir.

Someone was trying to sell food stamps, and it made a lot of people angry.

The Columbus Police Department confirmed our suspicions that this sort of activity was indeed, illegal. CPD advised WRBL to speak to the Georgia Department of Human Services for more information.

Here’s the post that started it all:

By the time the post had been removed from the Fort Benning Yardsales Facebook page, it had received over 200 comments.

“They are isolated incidences, but they are glaring incidences because of what people are attempting to do,” said Maurice Ingram of the Office of the Inspector General with the Georgia Department of Human Services. “They’re attempting to sell a benefit that is provided to them because they are in need.”

It didn’t take WRBL to find more similar posts…

Some folks think they’re safe behind the computer screen, but the Office of the Inspector General can see right through it.

“We actually have a team of people in my office who routinely review Craigslist,” Ingram said. “We actually have a Twitter feed that feeds into our office when there are certain tag words that are used and we actually review both of those on a weekly basis.”

And Ingram’s office is really good at catching people, too.

“We are the number one department within the southeast region when it comes to identifying and establishing fraud claims,” Ingram said. “There is no other state in the southeast that is better than us.”

There are consequences for trying to sell food stamps.

The first time, you’re disqualified from the program for a year.

The second time, you’re disqualified for two years.

On the third strike, you’re out permanently.

The Department of Human Services said they rely on the public to notify them when they see things like this happening online.

To report food stamp trafficking on social media, call 1-844-MYGADHS.

 

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