Preventing food stamp fraud begins with confronting criminal thoughts before they become crimes. Triggering positive behaviors is the heart of this campaign.
Indiana State Family Social Services Administration
Food Stamp / EBT Fraud Prevention Campaign
Food stamp fraud is a crime. Using food stamps for the purchase of items other than food or qualified products is also a crime. Administered by the Indiana Family Social Services Administration (FSSA), the food stamp (SNAP) /EBT program serves thousands of Hoosiers who need food assistance. The FSSA is aware of misuse of SNAP/EBT services by users (consumers), and retailers who profit from the resale or exchange of SNAP/EBT cards.
Internal challenges were also found at the point of qualification/redetermination, where FSSA interviewers were not equipped to ask the “right questions” to filter out unqualified applicants. Training tools were required to enable, encourage and support their efforts. Lastly, obstacles were also prevalent at FSSA SNAP/EBT locations throughout the State of Indiana, where consumers arrive to apply/re-apply for food stamps/EBT services. The goal was clear – to prevent fraud utilizing an integrated campaign.
Cabello’s strategic approach required a look at the big picture – to fully understand the SNAP/EBT process, system, the consumer/user, retail partners, and the mindset of those who aim to misuse the system. Internally, SNAP/EBT agents needed support to do their job better. Externally, SNAP/EBT users needed to understand that fraud was not acceptable, under any conditions. Cabello began at the very point of engagement – where an FSSA interviewers and representatives throughout the State of Indiana engage with a food stamp applicants. This is where food stamp fraud begins. Cabello cleverly repurposed the existing national SNAP program logo to become a functional asset in the overall message strategy. It became more than a logo. It was our core message. “Stop SNAP Fraud”.
Cabello designed a strategic campaign directed to FSSA interviewers and statewide representatives, as they are the initial “doors” in the SNAP qualification or redetermination process. Cabello developed the “Ask Probing Questions” internal campaign aimed at FSSA screeners/interviewers offering a set list of strategic questions that allowed them engage with potential food stamp applicants with clarity and directness to “cut through” the vagueness of an interview. Training classrooms, where SNAP/EBT representatives are trained to interview potential candidates, were populated with table tents and posters with bright, energetic and positive strategic messaging to assist and encourage FSSA agents to be participants in the prevention of fraud – by asking the “right questions.”
Triggering Positive Behaviors
How do you penetrate the mindset of an individual – to engage and encourage positive food stamp use and deter fraudulent activity? Cabello strategically developed the “Only for food. Only for you.” campaign to set friendly parameters of understanding for SNAP/EBT users. Much is addressed in these two short sentences. “Only for food” addresses the notion that a SNAP/EBT cardholder cannot purchase anything other than food, such as alcohol, cigarettes, gas, etc. “Only for you” address the idea that SNAP/EBT cards are non-transferrable and cannot be sold for profit or cash.