BBB warns of election-related telephone scams

- The Better Business Bureau is warning the public about two types of election-related telephone scams.

The first scam involves callers claiming to be raising money for a candidate, an organization or a cause. 

“The caller could be a legitimate volunteer working for their candidate or they could be a scammer calling from anywhere in the world. The problem is that you have no way of knowing where your money is going,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. 

BBB says when you give a telephone caller your credit or debit card number, they could charge any amount to it and you could also open yourself up to identity theft. BBB recommends that you not let anyone pressure you into giving. Instead, you should take time to think about which candidates you support and then make a contribution directly to their campaign via mail or the candidate's website. Not only will candidates be fundraising, but special interest groups will be calling for support, too. 

The second telephone scam involves callers who claim to be taking surveys for a polling organization, a political party, a candidate or even, the media.

BBB says they will entice you to take their survey with the promise of a prize such as a gift card or airline tickets. Then, they will tell you that they need your credit or debit card to pay the taxes on your prize. When you give them your debit or credit card number, they can drain your bank account or max out your credit limit. 

“The longer that a telephone solicitor can keep you on the telephone, the more likely he is to be successful at getting you to give money," said Bartholomy. “So, tell them you are not interested and hang up. You aren't being rude, you are being savvy!”

For more information on how to protect  yourself from scams, click here.

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