Craigslist ads illegally selling Food For Florida cards

Posted at 10:49 PM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 22:49:50-04

People tried to exploit federal assistance programs and make some money off of people recovering after Hurricane Irma.

People have placed ads on Craigslist to sell their Food for Florida assistance cards. The program is designed to help people get back on their feet after the storm.

A few of the ads offered to sell the remaining balance on their cards. Some of the Miami posts asked upwards of $700.

"Just really messed up that they would do that," said one woman who showed up to the Turner Center in Arcadia to sign up for the program.

The Florida Department of Children and Families oversees the Food for Florida program.

A spokesperson told 4 In Your Corner, "We take our responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayers money very seriously and we will investigate all instances of potential fraud."

The department actively investigates websites like Craigslist. If they catch you, the punishments are harsh.

Guilty parties selling their benefit cards will be on the hook to pay the money back. They will also be in jeopardy of being disqualified from public assistance programs forever. It is also a third degree felony for both those selling and buying public assistance cards.

The Department of Children and Families tries to make sure the money goes to those who need it most.

"I just prayed to God, right now this right here, I thank God for it," said Tracy Summers, after she qualified for Food for Florida. "I thank God for it because now I can get back on my feet," she added.

The Food for Florida program will be in Charlotte county on Sunday and Monday at the Charlotte Sports Park. You are encouraged to pre-register online.