BBB warns residents to be aware of fake political phone calls

- There's no denying it's that time of year when the phone seems to ring off the hook.

"I’ve been getting a lot of calls election-related. Probably five to six a day,” Renee Garner from Matthews said. 

Some pick up.

"I'm registered unaffiliated so I’m guessing they're trying to gage what the unaffiliated is leaning towards," Garner said. 

Others just let it ring.

"We're getting phone calls, but we're letting them go to voicemail," Terry Efird from Matthews said. 

No matter how you handle it, here is something you should know.

"With as many elections the Better Business Bureau has been around, this is the first time we've seen this kind of activity this close to the actual election," Tom Bartholomy, president of the Charlotte BBB, said. 

He's talking about fraud.

“These are probably the same folks who were calling two months ago about the floods in Louisiana, who were calling earlier this month about the floods in North Carolina. Now they're going, ‘hey, we've got these call lists, we know who's been suckered in the past, let's see if we can get them contributing to their favorite candidate,’" Bartholomy said. 

Here's how "the bad guys" are doing it, according to the BBB. They'll call claiming to be taking a poll or asking for you to financially support their candidate. If they ask for your credit card or banking information, the BBB says don't do it!

"You don't know if that person who's calling you is actually affiliated with that campaign. Go to the candidate's website directly and you can make a secure contribution right there without the threat of getting your identity stolen or your credit card misused," Bartholomy said. 

One thing’s for sure. Garner is ready for November 9.

"We're ready to have a quiet phone line again," Garner said. 

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