Avoiding election season scams

December 3, 2012 11:06:04 AM PST
With election season in full swing, so are scammers.

Now is the time many households are getting political calls, emails, and flyers in the mail. While many are legitimately looking for your vote, there are some out there looking to steal your cash and identity.

"It's all about identify theft and once it's taken from you, it's the dickens to get it all straightened out," Toby Barfield with the Better Business Bureau said.

Barfield says one scam targeting your identity and your wallet involves a voting survey. People are promised a free cruise once they complete a survey.

"At the end of the survey someone comes on the line and says we need your social security number and credit card number to cover port fees. Of course once they get that information it's in the hands of bad guys, and there's no cruise," Barfield said.

Another scam targeting voters is a fundraising call asking for political donations. Barfield says you should only give out your credit card information if you are initiating the call.

A safer bet is to go directly to a candidate's website.

People should also watch out for calls that are checking voting eligibility. Voter registration records are with the county you live in, and no one is going to call or email to verify your eligibility.

"Everybody is eligible to vote. You don't need to give your social security number or anything else in order to be able to vote," Barfield said.

In another political scam popping up, people are promised that President Obama is going to pay your utility bill. Scammers are contacting people via email, phone, and door-to-door saying the president is applying payments to your utility bills. This is not true, and you should not give your personal information to anyone.

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