The Department of Social and Health Services is Cracking Down on - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Department of Social and Health Services is Cracking Down on Illegal Food Stamp Sales

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YAKIMA, WA.- Social media has really taken off over the past decade and with it, there's been a rise in virtual crime.

You can pretty much use social media for anything nowadays, from finding an old friend to shopping online, but some people are now using it for shady business trying to abuse the system by selling hundreds of dollars in food stamps via social media.

    

The problem was first brought to our attention when a viewer sent us a screen shot of a man in Yakima selling his food stamps online. At that point we contacted the State Department of Social and Health Services.

    

They explained to us they've been actively cracking down on people selling them via social media for several years now.  

    

They told us so far this year they've caught 9 people state wide selling food stamps and right now they're investigating 45 other cases.

"We can administratively take away their benefits for up to a year and in some cases up to a life time so it's a pretty significant impact on these individuals," Steve Lowe, the Director of Fraud at the DSHS told us.

    

If caught you could face felony charges and up to five years in jail. The Department of Social and Health Services told us they currently have a team of two investigators devoted to social media, but they rely heavily on the community.

    

If you see a post or know someone selling food stamps you're asked to contact their department.

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