ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — The Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports a nationwide increase in card skimming, which is when someone steals information from a credit or debit card.

The agency believes more than 100 Oklahoma SNAP users have been impacted. 

"We already know $200,000 has been stolen,” said Michael Adams, an agent for the DHS Office of the Inspector General. “Under current federal rules that govern SNAP, there is not a way for the state of Oklahoma DHS to reimburse the money that was stolen."

Thieves place a device on a retailer's card-swiping machine to copy account information from a card.

"The perpetrators have taken the information that is contained on the magnetic stripe on the EBT card as well as the client's PIN, and they use that information to create another card," Adams explained.

DHS encourages all SNAP customers to change their PIN immediately by calling 1-888-328-6551 or visiting connectebt.com.

“Keep your PIN a secret and do not share it with anyone,” Adams urged. “Be proactive and look at your account. If you see anything suspicious on there — if you see something like a balance inquiry, or if you see a purchase you did not make — cancel that card immediately, and stop the perpetrators from gaining access to those funds.”

Skimming also affects credit and debit card users. 

"It is a very lucrative criminal business. They can get it from gas pumps, ATMs, inside card machines,” said Ardmore Police Detective Landon Gary. “They are very good at hiding these, and a lot of times, you will never know."

To prevent card skimming theft, keep an eye on your account transactions and notify your bank about any unknown charges. 

"A lot of times, the bank can reject those transactions and pending transactions,” Gary said. 

Affected SNAP customers are also encouraged to report any fraudulent activity to a  local law enforcement agency and to contact the Oklahoma Human Services Office of Inspector General by calling 800-784-5887 or emailing [email protected].