Election-Themed Schemes

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October 03, 2016

One of the many perks being a member of IDShield are the timely newsletters we receive. Here is the latest concerning voting scams.

Ever react to something quickly and then almost immediately feel regret? Recently an IDShield member called after having such an experience. She explained that as she walked out of a local store, two individuals holding clip boards and pens approached her asking if she wanted to register to vote. Without thinking, she provided them several pieces of personal information. When she got to her car she started to feel uneasy about what had just happened, but the people who approached her were gone. Feeling even more unsure about having shared her information, she wanted to understand what steps she could take to reduce her chance of becoming a victim of identity theft. Luckily, she had IDShield and had someone to turn to for help.

Scammers are adept at using current, well-known events such as the upcoming presidential election to try to steal personal information and/or money from others.

Here we share some helpful tips about election-themed scams provided by the Better Business Bureau (BBB):

Campaign Fund Collections - Scammers claim to be a legitimate political party representative, election committee member or the candidate themselves and request a donation. The BBB recommends that instead of doing what the caller asks, “research the candidates and organizations on your own and contribute through a verified campaign website.” Other options: call the campaign office or mail a check to their office. Re-Register Scam -

Scammers have been known to contact people and claim that they have to re-register in order to vote in the upcoming election. The BBB points out that “it is a big red flag if a caller ever tells you you’ve been removed from the list of registered voters.” If you get a call about your voter registration record, the BBB recommends that you “call your state Board of Elections directly about your registration status.”

 

Election Survey Scam - Surveys on behalf of a political party—sometimes offering a prize to participants—is another common election-related scam. The BBB explains that the caller “typically asks you to provide your credit card number to pay for the shipping, taxes or handling of the ‘prize’ you’ve won with the intent to commit fraud.” Legitimate polling companies do use such tactics.

 

Vote by Phone - Scammers may try to convince citizens that they can vote by phone, email or text message service and in the process, the scammers steal the voter’s personal identifiers. The BBB reminds voters that it is not possible to vote by phone. You can only cast your voting ballot by mail, using official absentee ballots applied for well in advance and received by the deadline date, or in-person at an official polling station.

The bottom line: Know that the election season brings many popular scams and use caution when approached with a request for your information.”


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Contact:
Phil Liso, Contact
(562) 322-7376