Scammers are trying to steal your money during election season

Diane Wilson Image
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Scammers ramp up spoof text messages, calls as Election Day nears
If scammers ever ask for personal information, don't give it out, says ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Election Day is less than a month away and while you want to make sure your vote gets counted, you do need to watch out for scammers.

ABC11 viewers are reaching out, asking about political text messages, emails, and mailings they are getting.

One viewer sent us a text message that he got and it concerns requesting an absentee ballot and includes a link to click on. When you get a text, do not click on any links from unknown numbers as it could contain malware. While third parties are sending requests for absentee ballots, you can get one on your own absentee ballot from the state board of elections or from your county.

When it comes to campaign contributions, even if you support that party or candidate that's supposedly texting or calling, don't just give without research.

"Be very wary of that as you never know who's on the other side of that text message. If you feel inclined to donate or want to get active reach out to that campaign directly," said Alyssa Parker with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Here are some BBB tips to avoid political scams:

  • Donate directly to the campaign office: Donations made over the phone can be valid, but to be sure you are donating directly to the campaign, donors should give either through the candidates' official website or at a local campaign office.
  • Watch for spoofed calls: Your Caller ID may say that someone from Washington, D.C. or from a campaign office is contacting you, but scammers can fake this using phone number spoofing technology.
  • Beware of prize offers: Just hang up on any political pollster who claims that you can win a prize for participating in a survey. Political survey companies rarely use prizes, so that is a red flag (especially if they ask you to pay for shipping or taxes in order to claim it).
  • Don't give out personal or banking information: Political pollsters may ask for information about your vote or political affiliation, and even demographic information such as your age or race, but they don't need your Social Security number or credit card information.