BBB warns of common election scams during the presidential race
AUSTIN, Texas - Oct. 15, 2012 — The presidential election will take place on Nov. 6. As the candidates and the public prepare for the big vote, scammers have been gearing up to steal your personal information. 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. 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.
Here are a few recent scams reported to BBB:
1. The political survey free cruise offer.
These public-opinion surveys typically offer a free cruise in exchange for participating in a quick telephone survey. However, 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.”
Tip: Be wary of too-good-to-be-true offers. Legitimate polling companies will not offer prizes for participating in a telephone survey, and they will not ask for a 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 the Obama or Romney campaigns. Avoid providing your personal information over the phone.
Tip: Research charities before donating.If you would like to contribute to a political campaign or party, search for contact information yourself rather than giving out financial information to a caller.
3. Scammers claiming to check on your eligibility to vote.
These unsolicited emails and phone calls claim to be from someone representing your local election board or civic group. They ask for your Social Security or credit card number to confirm your eligibility or registration to vote.
Tip: Do not give out your personal information. According to the FTC, voter registration drives will contact you in person or send voter registration forms. They will never ask you to provide your financial information.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.
About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.
Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.
Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.