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Published On: Mon, Oct 14th, 2013

EBT card failure hit 17 states, people ready to riot as they ‘steal’ from Walmart

EBT, Electronic Benefits Transfer, cards stopped working over the weekend due to a power outage. The vendors would be unable to verify balances etc…making them vulnerable to food stamp fraud and abuse.

People becamse violent, see some of the tweets below.

EBT cards replaced food stamps, but when the system crashes, chaos ensues. Food Stamps from 1939 photo/Harris & Ewing Collection (Library of Congress)

EBT cards replaced food stamps, but when the system crashes, chaos ensues.
Food Stamps from 1939 photo/Harris & Ewing Collection (Library of Congress)

Xerox, a vendor for the EBT system in several states, experienced a power outage while conducting a routine backup test in one of the company’s locations.

Xerox spokeswoman Karen Arena told USA TODAY on Saturday evening the system was back up, but some states could still experience connectivity issues.

People in Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Louisiana and Virginia were among those that could not purchase groceries and other goods with the cards, which act similar to bank debit cards.

A total of 17 states had been affected by the problem, according to the Associated Press.

The United State Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, said the problem is unrelated to the federal government shutdown.

Walmart refused to turn away customers even though the company couldn’t verify balances or force people to pay.

Shelves were cleared as the chaos spread across the store in a scene employees said was worse than Black Friday.

When the system came back online, Walmart announced the news to the customers and many abandoned their carts in the aisles.

People flocked to the store to abuse the system and good nature of the company, filling carts with high-priced meats and items.

Reports are widespread that shoppers left carts of groceries behind at grocery stores in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn’t get their benefits.

Critics are already pointing to the fragility of the system as an area of major concern.

Tweets via Twitchy

 tweets EBT card failure people ready to riot

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. Food stamps cuts coming in November as stimulus expires, more cuts planned - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] EBT failure in October resulted in chaos at a Louisiana Wal-Mart leaving many wondering what will happen if the system ever […]

  2. America Would Be Consumed With Mass Rioting And Looting If Food Stamp Program Stops Functioning | Peanut Butter Sunrise says:

    […] Officially a systems glitch is being blamed for the outage after a test of the EBT backup system resulted in a system failure.  The outage affected at least 17 states including Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.  The outage lasted throughout Saturday until the systems were restored later that evening.  Even though the system was only down for a matter of hours, panic immediately ensued.   One Massachusetts grocery store reported having to turn away roughly 50 percent of their customers due to their inability to process EBT cards.  In Maine carts filled with groceries were left behind by shoppers at different stores.  At a Mississippi Wal-Mart customers rioted upon finding out that they could not accept their EBT cards forcing the store to close.  Similar situations occurred across the country with reports on social networking sites indicating that many folks were ready to riot. […]

  3. Crisis: USDA Orders States to Withhold Electronic Food Stamps | 3rdeyeviZion says:

    […] EBT card failure hit 17 states, people ready to riot as they ‘steal’ from Walmart (theglobaldispatch.com) […]

  4. AndhraNRI » EBT card failure hit 17 states, people ready to riot as they ‘steal’ from Walmart – The Global Dispatch says:

    […] The Global Dispatch […]

  5. America Would Be Consumed With Mass Rioting And Looting If Food Stamp Program Stops Functioning » The Original N-D-N's Blog says:

    […] Officially a systems glitch is being blamed for the outage after a test of the EBT backup system resulted in a system failure.  The outage affected at least 17 states including Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.  The outage lasted throughout Saturday until the systems were restored later that evening.  Even though the system was only down for a matter of hours, panic immediately ensued.   One Massachusetts grocery store reported having to turn away roughly 50 percent of their customers due to their inability to process EBT cards.  In Maine carts filled with groceries were left behind by shoppers at different stores.  At a Mississippi Wal-Mart customers rioted upon finding out that they could not accept their EBT cards forcing the store to close.  Similar situations occurred across the country with reports on social networking sites indicating that many folks were ready to riot. […]

  6. EBT card failure hit 17 states, people ready to riot as they ‘steal’ from Walmart | Of the Harvest says:

    […] Read more here […]

  7. EBT test run successful |Secret Done says:

    […] hacker EBT test run successful The test run to take out EBT was a tested and they are reviewing the results. Walmart and others learnt when there is no EBT not to hand over food and other locations learnt how to deal with saying no. http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/ebt-car…art-77717/ […]

  8. America Would Be Consumed With Mass Rioting And Looting If Food Stamp Program Stops Functioning | Thought FTW says:

    […] Officially a systems glitch is being blamed for the outage after a test of the EBT backup system resulted in a system failure.  The outage affected at least 17 states including Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.  The outage lasted throughout Saturday until the systems were restored later that evening.  Even though the system was only down for a matter of hours, panic immediately ensued.   One Massachusetts grocery store reported having to turn away roughly 50 percent of their customers due to their inability to process EBT cards.  In Maine carts filled with groceries were left behind by shoppers at different stores.  At a Mississippi Wal-Mart customers rioted upon finding out that they could not accept their EBT cards forcing the store to close.  Similar situations occurred across the country with reports on social networking sites indicating that many folks were ready to riot. […]

  9. EBT card failure hit 17 states, people ready to riot as they ‘steal’ from Walmart – The Global Dispatch | Crude Oil says:

    […] EBT card failure hit 17 states, people ready to …read more     […]

  10. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    TENNESSEE CAN BE ADDED TO THE LIST. GAS STATIONS WHICH SELL FOOD WERE DECLINING CUSTOMERS ON SATURDAY NIGHT.

    THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE KENYAN “TINKERS” WITH THE LIVES OF POOR PEOPLE. OBVIOUSLY, THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT COMPUTER-SYSTEMS EFFICIENCY. I WONDER WHAT IMPACT THE COMPUTER “GLITCHES” AT Obamacare exchanges HAD ON THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT’S [EBT] COMPUTER SYSTEM?

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

      MEMPHIS NEWS REPORTED THOSE WHO CHARGED OVER-THEIR-LIMITS AT, Wal-Mart, MAY FACE FRAUD-CHARGES. ATTORNEYS WILL HAVE A “FIELD DAY,” DEFENDING THOSE WHO WERE PREYED-UPON DUE TO LACK OF UNDERSTANDING ABOUT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

      CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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