Obama To Give Food Stamp Recipients $1K Cash Bonus? Hoax Leads To Social Media Celebration Before Confirmation

There’s a popular hoax circulating on social media and many food stamp recipients have already begun celebrating, but there’s a big catch. Apparently, the story is nothing more than a rumor, a viral hoax created to capture the attention of social media. But how did so many people fall for it? Well, according to Snopes, it all started with a Facebook post that rapidly began circulating on Facebook.

The false advertisement, which includes a picture of President Barack Obama pointing at a check, stated that food stamp recipients would receive a monthly cash bonus of $1,000 for the next three months. With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, many food stamp recipients saw the attractive advertisement as a blessing that literally fell from the sky. But, unfortunately, the advertisement was nothing more than a hoax thrown into cyberspace.

“It had Obama pointing and saying check y’all food stamp cards, something about, I put some money on there so check your food stamp card,” said Destany Mitchell of Minden, LA.

In just a few hours, the post had gone viral. An overwhelming number of food stamp recipients on social media believed the announcement was true and had no reservations about it being some form of hoax. According to KSLA, the Facebook post had picked up so much steam that news outlets contacted the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for clarity about the mysterious post. The government agency refuted the rumor and confirmed that the advertisement was, indeed, false.

The latest food stamp hoax follows a change in the restrictions put in place for food stamp recipients. Many states have decided to reinforce requirements that were in place prior to the recession that contributed to the spike in unemployment.

In most cases, food stamp recipients who are able-bodied adults aged 18-49 with no dependents are now required to work at least 20 hours weekly, volunteer, or attend school. Food stamp recipients’ gross monthly income must also be 130 percent below the poverty line, with their net income not exceeding 100 percent below poverty.

According to WNCT, Jan Elliott, a social director for Pitt County, NC, shared details about the changes that are being implemented to food stamp guidelines since more jobs are now available nationwide. “As long as jobs are available and resources are available, then I think it’s a wonderful thing for us to be working towards helping folks be self-sufficient, self-supporting, because that’s what most folks want to be anyway.”

Over the past few months, thousands of people have lost food stamp benefits due to the restrictions and many states expect the numbers to increase over the next few months. It has even been reported that many stores are also implementing stricter laws in regard to food stamp acceptance.

So, if any drastic changes occur with food stamps, recipients may see a cut instead of some form of bonus or increase. But despite the facts, some social media users believed the false advertisement was actually a real announcement.

“I thought it was true” said Rodney Markay. “I mean, I could use that money. I’m really disappointed.”

Now that the food stamp rumor has been confirmed to be false, Mitchell admits the one lesson she’s learned from the post: everything posted on social media shouldn’t be taken seriously. With so many photo manipulation tools available, there are many times false advertisements can be mistaken for real ones. “Don’t believe none of what everyone puts on Facebook, don’t believe nothing on Facebook,” said Mitchell.

Luckily, there was no scam associated with this food stamp advertisement because many social media users could have been taken advantage of financially prior to the government agency discrediting the rumor.

[Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images]

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