The United States Department of Agriculture administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at the federal level. The state of Virginia sets the eligibility guidelines and income restrictions the program. While SNAP is designed to help people pay for groceries, retailers and recipients sometimes abuse the program. SNAP fraud commonly includes lying on an application or selling benefits for cash. If you suspect fraud, you can report it to the state or the USDA.
Virginia Department of Social Services
You can report fraud to the Virginia Department of Social Services. Reports are made over the phone through the Citizen Services line.
- Call 800-552-3431 or 804-726-7000 between 8:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to speak to a hotline agent. Inform the agent you want to report SNAP fraud. You'll be asked to provide details about the suspected fraud, including the names of the people involved. You won't be asked to provide your name.
USDA Office of the Inspector General
The USDA's Office of the Inspector General actively investigates fraud allegations. If you suspect SNAP fraud, report it directly to the Office of the Inspector General. You'll need to provide as much information as possible about the suspect and the fraud, such as the name and address, type of fraud and dates fraud occurred. You can report fraud several ways, including:
Disclosing Your Identity
You can report fraud anonymously, elect to display your name on the report or keep your identity confidential. If you file an anonymous report, the investigator won't be able to contact you with any questions he may have regarding the allegations. By choosing to file a confidential report, only the inspector general has access to your personal information.
Consequences of Fraud
The state and the inspector general can launch an investigation. Depending on the results of the investigation, a trial may be held to determine if the suspect is guilty of fraud, which can also include theft and perjury charges. If found guilty of committing SNAP fraud in Virginia, benefits are withheld either temporarily or permanently. You may also face jail time and have to pay fines.