During election time you can count on candidates and supporters to run campaigns in hopes of garnering your vote. But be on the lookout for scammers posing as supporters, fundraisers, pollsters, and officials whose only goal is to defraud you. Business Consumer Alliance wants to warn you about common voting schemes, what to look out for, and tips on avoiding them.
Be cautious when receiving unsolicited phone calls or emails from anyone claiming to be an election representative asking for your social security number or financial information to confirm your voter registration or eligibility. This is how many crooks obtain information to commit identity theft.
Tips: Typically, organizations conducting legitimate voter registration drives either contact you in person or give you a voter registration form that you fill out yourself. They will never ask you to provide your financial information. Never share your personal or financial information with persons you do not know or anyone you have not checked out thoroughly. Also, ignore or hang up on contacts asking for banking information to re-register you to vote. To register or check your voter status, contact your local election office or the US Election Assistance Commission.
Elections are expensive and politicians often solicit for funds to contribute to their campaign. Impersonators often pose as campaign staff and try to con donations over the phone.
Tips: Don’t be easily swayed by swindlers' well-crafted scripts. Instead of hastily donating over the phone, do your research and contact the candidate’s camp directly to discuss how to donate.
Voting by Phone or Internet
Voters have reported receiving phone calls and text messages fraudulently claiming recipients could vote for their desired candidate by phone, or by visiting a web link.
Tips: Unfortunately, at this time you can only use your ballot to vote by mail or at a polling place. Information on how and where to vote is available from the National Association of Secretaries of State or you can contact your state election office.
Prizes for Participation
Some scammers entice individuals to complete surveys by offering prizes. This is a sign that you are dealing with a fraudster. Legitimate pollsters don’t operate in this way.
Have You Encountered a Scam?
If you have experienced a scam, we would like to know. It’s easy to contact BCA and file a complaint. We will report the scam so others are warned. Also, don’t be silent! Warn others of your experience. Educating yourself and others helps reduce the number of victims that may be taken in by scammers. Follow BCA on Facebook for more scam alerts, tips, consumer topics, and more.