Monday, January 07, 2008

I wonder if anyone had heard of this

Every now and then at a neighborhood grocery store we might run into a situation where someone might offer their Link cards in exchange for cash. They get the cash and you can use the Link card. The idea here is that they want to use the money for what they couldn't get with the link card. That is anything other than the food they were supposed to buy.

Oh let me explain the Link card concept to you. The Link card is essentially something you use like a food stamp. It's a debit card of sorts and you have a PIN number to be able access it to pay for your food. You can read more information about this here.

Now if you've never heard about this I'm sure it might have something to do with where you either live or shop. I wouldn't likely see this at a grocery store anywhere near the loop. I've seen this in neighborhood groceries on the south side. I won't at the moment say that it's widespread but I've seen it enough times to know it does happen.

BTW, I wonder why authorities do when they catch it. Do they have sting operations of sorts? Do they just so happen to run into those offering their link cards for cash and then at some point take action against the user? Is there a penalty for this, such as the cessation of benefits?

I wonder. Either way what came to mind hearing a little bit about this hustle the knee jerk reaction could easily be what's the point of having food stamps or link cards if people are willing to use them in a hustle. I could alway propose taking them away and only because a few aren't going to use them they way they were supposed to be used.


JP Paulus said...

Funny you just blogged on this...we had a woman (grnadmother?) approach my family about trading for the LINK.

i didn't stop to find out more information...but i think it would be a mistake to dismantle the program altogether. i think it's better than the previous system, but there should be better perhaps a photo on the LINK card. Citibank has done that on their credit cards for YEARS (maybe a decade now?), and in today's technology, it should be easy to do. That way, cashiers should be able to stop the fraud.

i doubt this is very high on the list for the police or FBI or who ever to follow up on. If it's a choice between this and fighting drugs, gangs , terrorism, etc., it's obvious which should get the attention.

ShocK said...

The link card was developed as a measure to stop people from saving food stamps. People would amass hundreds of dollars in stamps over the course of months and could get 75% or more of face value.
Sure some buy what?
Others buy cloths, school supplies, medicine, toiletries, and pay bills.
We have to stop looking at the world through blue eyes.
Whats wrong with a hustle if it's not hurting anyone? I would rather you sell your food stamps or link card benefits than steal from me.
White folks don't need our help to hold us down but we give it to them anyway.

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