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EBT benefit card glitch sparks Walmart shopping sprees in Louisiana

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posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:19 AM
Chaos errupted in Louisiana recently due to a glitch in the EBT system. We all know that the cards stopped working for a little while over the weekend, causing panic, but not the system gave users an unlimited cap on how much they can buy.


The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.

So what do you guys think? Do you think the government did this to raise some approval ratings? Do you think this was done on purpose or just an oversight?

Do you think these people will have to pay it back? Should they?

Is this theft or justified because they're poor and on welfare?

As a taxpayer, what do think and how do you feel about this?

Here is more information via a youtube still.

After listening to this, my blood boiled a bit. So much theft, in my opinion. My thoughts? Many of the people on welfare dont care about taxpayers and just want a handout. This proves it, I think.
edit on 14-10-2013 by StallionDuck because: (no reason given)

+5 more 
posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:24 AM
Personally people that already get the benefit, and then abuse that benefit, should have to pay it back. That just shows how fast people take advantage of something. the same way our Politicians take advantage of power and money, they cant help themselves when Greed clouds the mind.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:25 AM
I would really hate to be any one of those people at the next benefit review meeting, when the question of spending like a Congressman comes up.

I'm thinking one of two things will happen. Either the glitch will make it too hard or outright impossible for them to track down individual liability for spending .... Or.. They will be able to produce a list of who, how much and how far over benefits that went.

Knowing Uncle? Well. Some folks seem to think Uncle Sammy is a nice, generous old Grandpa to the Welfare cases by just doling out money like it's free. To someone not getting any, I can see that impression, too. To those that either have been or are in/close to the system? Uncle Sam is a mean spirited, vengeful old bastard that never EVER forgets anything that benefits HIM.

They'll hear more about this with a bill for what was spent...if Uncle can manage it. I hope not, personally... If they can't keep basic systems running right? It serves them right to be robbed blind as a reminder occasionally. I just hope the payback isn't taken as dramatically reduced benefits for months to come. That will starve the people who did it.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:25 AM
So people are getting themselves overdrawn on free money?

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks it's quite deliberate. That the 'cards down' test worked fine, and now they're trying to get people to spend more than they have, so they can shut those particular cards off without the need for a system error.

After all, they've already spent their free money.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:28 AM
Since this primarily affects minorities, we will not hear much of a spin on this. Would not be politically correct and all...

Its a prime example of why the system is unsustainable and needs a major overhall, its abused in so many ways its not even funny. You will always have those that feel entitled and take advantage anytime they get the opportunity.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:40 AM
If they went over on their card, it will be deducted from the next months benefit. If someone abused the system, they may loose their benefits for a while. I can see running over by ten bucks or so, most people pay something when they go shopping. People won't question if they don't have to take cash out of their wallets sometimes. I think the government will most likely only cancel benefits for who abused the glitch. They will have to reapply again and go through a review to see their intent. I know some who would purposely abuse the situation and others who would kind of wonder and not use the card again. I only know a couple of people who would say something to the cashier and the cashier would probably say they must be mistaken and do nothing.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:43 AM
reply to post by StallionDuck

I know up here in Wa if you spend more than what you are allocated (food benefits or cash) you're responsible for paying it back and you become ineligible for further benefits for a period of time. Also ignorance isn't a defense as it's one's own responsibility to track their spending.

In a couple hours at wal mart I imagine some hefty charges were made. First off if the rules are the same as they are up here than that is some serious shortsightedness. Secondly I really hope there were some who pushed it a little to far and ended up with giant carts full of stuff they could no longer pay for.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:46 AM
They got your number its all recorded unlimited or not they know who got what. If you are over paid on unemployment you have to pay that back. I see nothing here that would make this different.
edit on 14-10-2013 by starfoxxx because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:51 AM
So to recap, an evil nasty multi-billion dollar corporation allowed the poor innocent starving masses to use a card that the corporation knew may not contain the amount to cover costs of their food but was going to allow the masses to buy anyway and take a loss and was rewarded for this generosity by having their store rampaged and criminal acts of knowing thievery by the poor innocent starving victims of this fascist company.

Does that about sum it up? No good deed goes unpunished.
edit on 14-10-2013 by Carreau because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-10-2013 by Carreau because: (no reason given)

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posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 10:14 AM
I see one shopping cart with two or three LCD tv's in it! This is no different than looting in my opinion.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 11:32 AM

It was no conspiracy at all on how this happened. It was a glitch, a temporary one at that.

"Xerox, which hosts some of the infrastructure used by the EBT card system, told KSLA that a power outage during a routine maintenance test caused the temporary glitch."
With that being said, I totally agree that these people should be charged or denied their next months benefits.
I understand these "People" need to eat, but they have their monthly spending limit on what they can get. I don't know about you, but in a picture I saw, it showed Pepsi, Nestles, El Paso...a bunch of name brand items, come on people, do some research and get more for the buck while its provided for you.

I recently PCS to TX and I was sooooo glad to be shopping at HEB, they have their own brands here that are just as good, 25-50% cheaper and they have meal deals with in house coupons that you get that'll will net you an extra $50-60 more in food for free, which in TX, $50 can go a long way at HEB.

I swear, get off your ass and get a job. Yes I said it, why? because even though I lived in a house where my step-dad, an attorney, had plenty of money for food and going out to eat, I still had to get out and get a job at 16 yrs old and ever since that day I turned 16, I worked 40 hrs a week, 5-6 days a week, during High School and after graduation, up until I joined the military. I have poured sweat and blood into my hard work, worked my way to the top, walked everyday to my job, that's 5 miles a day!, thru the hellish Texas heat. I have been their and earned my right to tell these people that it's not impossible, THESE...people who are in their mid 20's, early 30's...sitting on their ass, yet I was 16 working full time in the dead heat 5 miles away, huffing it on foot. BUNCH OF LAZY PEOPLE.

There are genuine people who need the assistance because of an ailment, a job injury or any other incident and these people are prideful and will at first try to deny the benefits, but will give in for the need to eat, these same people will not become lazy, as they work to better themselves and work hard to get back into the workforce and provide for themselves once again, I know people like this, unfortunately it's only a small group of people compared to the swaths of lazy people who take advantage of the system and leech off it.

IMHO, I think it's the mentality of some people too, who think some jobs are beneath them. Well I say to hell with that. When I look at my 6 month old daughter and god forbid something happens and I'm out the service, I do whatever is needed, take a brush and mop and CLEAN! get a second job burger flipping, whatever is needed to pay those bills and ensure food is on the table, I'll go hungry so as long as my child eats. This mentality of mine is something that is slowly disappearing and I am forever grateful of my parents for putting me to work as soon as I was of age because I have LEARNED.

Flagged, no star.
edit on 14-10-2013 by Arnie123 because: extra info

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 11:44 AM
Thanks for all of the responses.

My sister-in-law is currently involved in a run in with the welfare system. Something about the children she had, the state was paying for them to live with her via the system. At some point, she gave the children up to another set of family members and instead of stopping the payments that were going to her, she kept taking the money.

Now, she is going to court for fraud and possibly put in jail for it. She is charged with stealing over $7,000 from the welfare system.

So, since I feel that this is justified by the court system to do as they are, I also feel that each of these people who knowingly (and it'll be very obvious) took money that wasn't theirs, each of them should be charged with fraud and brought under penalty of law. They shouldn't get a free ride and just get it deducted from their next payments or just simply have to pay it back. They should have to pay it back AND get thrown in jail for it.

Do you agree or disagree with this?

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:04 PM
reply to post by StallionDuck

probably just making sure people can stock up before funding is G-O-N-E gone. My husband is ex-military and we got paid the day AFTER the shut down; we think it's because there will be NO MORE money after this.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:10 PM
So Walmart let them use cards they knew were glitched? Yeah, they knew, it is pretty obvious.
I guess it is hard to fault Walmart for making all these sales. It does stike me as irresponsible on their part, however.

The store manager should have said, wait a second... called corporate, maybe stopped taking sales for TVs with EBT cards.

Also, this was stealing on the part of the customers, IMO.

Both Walmart and these people are stealing.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:19 PM
From what I read, is that the police have all the transactions recorded. (It didn't say how and I'm unsure how EBT's function. Especially temporary EBT's.)

One woman was caught with over 700 dollars worth of items when her EBT balance was a mere 0.49 cents. So needless to say, there will be quite a few people that get a knock on their doors come this week by the local PD.

And I say good. People who bought food and left, good on you. Those of you who ransacked entire isles, dumping the goods in several shopping carts (per one article online), shame on you!

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:20 PM
Saw this, am disgusted.

Disgusted by the people who figured they were even MORE "entitled" and tried to steal, disgusted by the food left to spoil in the aisles,which will be put back and dumb-ass consumers like me will pick up that carton of milk left out for several hours because they NEVER have adequate staff to re-stock anywhere,will PAY FOR IT and get it home only to find it's spoiled...

I am done with Walmart...small private "boycott" but it's a start.They are just as bad as the other idiots "n charge"trying to ram their greed and coruption down our throats.

They will lose a bunch on me per month if only on gas because I usually get it there, "discounted" for using their card.

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:33 PM
I am not sure if there was any government influenced conspiracy here. If the Xerox data team were testing a new rollout, had trouble and then suffered some embarrassing glitches, that is all a real possibility and I am a software developer who has seen it happen a few times even on a team I worked with once.

Now, one question is, was the problem only occurring at Walmart or are the Walmart customers the only ones who took advantage of this or the only EBT users who actually always run over their limit?
I didn't see anything about it happening for any other store but that could be because people were aware that the cards weren't working at all prior to this and they hadn't been out shopping again. I don't really know.

As far as the customers using the cards, if they went over a few dollars here and there, as others here have suggested, they may not have noticed or questioned it. If they went back for more groceries(I am assuming that you can't buy TV's and games etc. with these cards) then they were willfully trying to take advantage of the system. This could be conceived as ill-gotten gains in the eyes of the law.
Hopefully, for the folks that had a few extra dollars authorized, they will just be charged back the difference and suffer no consequence since the system at Walmart is supposed to receive notice of funds availability and tell the cashier/customer that they have reached a limit and collect the balance in another type of payment.

We don't really need to fill jails with people who may have been trying to feed themselves after having their cards offline for a few days.

The folks that may have returned for another round of purchases or who knew from "word on the street" that this was happening and went grossly overboard, that is another issue. It can be proven by the culling of data if they were repeatedly shopping, even if it was done in small increments, it would all be on the card for the same day and so on. They could just charge them back as well, let them hold a negative balance until their next benefit rolls in to cover it.
They could, kick them out of the system and make them reapply, of course, it will be harder to recover the money this way.

They should choose to prosecute depending on the amounts, I mean if it is above a grand larceny amount, whatever amount that is depending on the state, then yes, they have ill-gotten gains and should be accountable.

The rest, give them the benefit of the doubt and let the system collect the balance at the next benefit refill.

People that use debit cards and run them close to their limits usually know about how much they have left in their accounts. I am going to guess that people who have the EBT cards do the same and probably are more aware of how much they have since they rely on it even more. It could be seen how this fact could point to gross misuse if the data shows a person usually shops within their means and then on this day went far above. I understand the excitement and relief that "found money" can bring to people but everyone using a card should know the difference between a $20 bill found on the street and a glitch that will ultimately be tracked and corrected.

ETA: I was just able to watch the YouTube video and see that people can buy almost whatever they want with an EBT card so TV's and such were fair game. I had assumed that there was some policy in place to prevent that or discourage it.

On another note, did Anonymous do this to Walmart and the EBT system? That video sounds just like them.
edit on 14-10-2013 by evc1shop because: ETA

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:51 PM
From the source in OP.

"We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards during the outage so that they could get food for their families," Walmart representative Kayla Whaling told KSLA. She added that Walmart was, "fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage."

Does this mean that Walmart's IT people did away with a balance check on EBT's to allow people to use them through the outage?
Was this a carefully selected set of stores to run a "social experiment" on for TPTB?

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:55 PM
So Politicians steal billions (if not Trillions) and it's all good, even necessary. It's for America!

Walmart destroys small businesses and treats its employees like inhuman scum but thats cool cause its America and we love big business. They do no wrong.

Some people in LA "steal" some food and cheap electronics (likely made by foreign slaves) and it's off with their heads, time for a prison sentence?

Are we maybe vilifying the wrong people here?

Seems like Xerox and Walmart are the ones who screwed the pooch here, all these people did was take advantage of the situation just like their elected officials or any major corporation would have.
edit on 14-10-2013 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 01:07 PM
It is theft, those who abused the glitch should have to 'pay' it back or face prosecution. By pay it back, I mean no monthly benefits until they amount they stole is recovered. It is one thing if a person overspent a $10 or $20, that is understandable. Those who got word of the glitch and filled up as many shopping carts as they could better face the consequences. We are talking about people ripping off the system for hundreds to over a thousand dollars in this shopping spree. That is a felony to steal that much goods.

It would be more fair for Wal-Mart to pay the government back because they obviously turned a blind eye to the situation and let people get away with it.

Life is not fair though, but we can expect in a civilized society for one to be accountable for their actions.

edit on 14-10-2013 by jrod because: add

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