BBB warns of election scams

  • Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:41 p.m.

Election Day is Nov. 6 and it is a prime time for scams. As the candidates and the public prepare for the big vote, scammers have been gearing up to steal your personal information. The Better Business Bureau is warning voters to be on the lookout for scams leading up to the presidential election.
"Scammers use major holidays, big events and popular news stories to make their pitches to consumers more relevant and realistic," said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. "Health care, economic recovery and unemployment are popular topics scammers will use to fraudulently mislead consumers into giving their personal information or credit card number."
The BBB has the top three election scam tactics that you need to watch out for:
1. Political survey free cruise offer - These public-opinion surveys typically offer a free cruise in exchange for participating in a quick telephone survey. At the end of the call, consumers are asked for a form of payment to cover port fees and taxes. Consumers who hesitate or ask for time to consider the offer are subject to high-pressure tactics, such as being told the offer is "only good right now."
Red flag: Be wary of offers that sound too good to be true. Legitimate polling companies will not offer prizes for participating in a telephone survey, and they will not ask for your credit card number.
2. Fundraising calls for political donations - Consumers have reported calls from organizations asking for donations. However, these calls may not really be related to either presidential campaign. The BBB urges donors not to give their credit card or bank account number over the telephone because you do not know who is really behind the call.
Red flag: Being pressured to give immediately should be a concern. The BBB recommends that you research charities before donating. If you would like to contribute to a political campaign or party, search for their contact information online and give to them directly.
3. Scammers claiming to check on your eligibility to vote - These unsolicited emails and phone calls claim to be from your local election board.
Red flag: The caller or sender asks for your Social Security or credit card number to confirm your eligibility or registration to vote. The BBB urges you to never give your social security number or credit card number to anyone who calls you or emails you.
For more information on scam prevention, please visit BBB.

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