87% increase in EBT fraud reports

EBT card welfare

BOSTON (AP) – State welfare officials appear to be doing a better job of rooting out possible food stamp fraud.

The state Inspector General says staff members at the Department of Transitional Assistance reported 14,431 cases of potential fraud or abuse of electronic benefit transfer cards, formerly called food stamps, to investigators through the first 10 months of 2013. That’s an 87 percent increase over the same period in 2012.

Department officials attributed most of the increase to a streamlined system to report potential fraud.

The Boston Globe reports that Commissioner Stacey Monahan says her office more than quadrupled the number of investigators last year to root out fraud and tweaked the computer system to make it easier for staff to file a report when they suspect fraud.

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