The Pennsylvania Department of Health today warned Pennsylvania’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants of potential scams and cautioned them not to disclose their personal information without verifying the identity of the caller.
Although WIC clinics do perform eligibility determinations, they will never call participants to request their bank account information to deposit funds directly into their accounts.
“The WIC program provides access to resources for mothers and children across Pennsylvania and we do not want our WIC participants worried about being taken advantage of – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We want participants to be alert, but know their information is protected and their benefits will continue to be distributed through secure means. Please be aware of potential scammers looking to steal personal information and report their number so more Pennsylvanians do not have this experience.”
If a WIC participant is unsure if a request for information is legitimate they should contact their local WIC office. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WIC services will be available over the phone or by virtual appointments until counties reopen into the green phase. Residents can find the address, hours of operation, and contact information for their local WIC clinic here.
Pennsylvanians should report scams to their local law enforcement or file a consumer complaint to the Office of the Attorney General through an online form, by calling 800-441-2555, or by email at [email protected].
The WIC program in Pennsylvania provides services at more than 260 locations and serves more than 205,000 pregnant women, infants and children under age 5. WIC families shop at more than 1,500 Pennsylvania grocery stores and spend $248 million a year with their WIC food benefits. In addition, the program also serves as a gateway for preventive health, and is considered one of the most successful, cost-effective and important nutrition intervention programs in the country.
For more information about WIC, visit www.pawic.com or call 1-800-WIC-WINS. The Pennsylvania WIC program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
For information on how WIC clinics may be affected by COVID-19, please visit our fact sheet here.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean surfaces frequently.
- Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
- If you must go out for a life-sustaining reason, please wear a mask.