Unsolicited messages from people who claim to need your Social Security number or other personal information as a pretext to register you to vote — or to confirm your registration — could be identity theft scams, according to the Better Business Bureau serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming and the Federal Trade Commission.
As a rule, 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 not ask you to provide financial information.
Should you receive such a call or e-mail, you should notify your BBB at 970-484-1348 or www.bbb.org
and the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or www.ftc.gov
If you already have shared personal information with someone you don’t know, you may be the victim of a scam. Contact your bank and credit card company if you gave a bank account or credit card number, then file a fraud report at www.ftc.gov/idtheft
The BBB further advises consumers who suspect their financial or personal information may have been compromised to consider putting a fraud alert on their accounts with the three major credit reporting agencies and order a free annual credit report to see if there is any suspicious activity. Please note that you will need to provide your Social Security number to these agencies.
- Equifax fraud line: 800-525-6285
- Experian fraud line: 888-397-3742
- Trans Union fraud line: 800-680-7289
- Order your free annual credit report from all three agencies: 877-322-8228 or visit www.freeannualcreditreport.com.
To register to vote, contact your local election office, or check the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s National Voter Registration Form at www.eac.gov/voter. Most states accept this form. Many states and localities have their own rules about how far in advance of an election you must register to be able to vote, and whether a Social Security number is required for registration.