Scammers cashing in on election season

Photo (c) kentoh - Fotolia

Fraudsters exploiting loophole in Do Not Call law

The election is just three weeks away and chances are, your telephone has been ringing more than usual.

That's because even if your number is on the Do Not Call list, political organizations are allowed to call and ask for money and your vote. And as we get closer to election day, they're doing it a lot.

Hiya, a company that offers telephone spam protection, reports legitimate political calls are on the rise, as are scams masquerading as political messages. The company recently conducted an analysis of the political calls consumers have been getting recently.

It found legitimate calls from the Trump and Clinton campaigns combined have increased more than 64% since the beginning of the year. Not surprisingly, those calls have increased 20% between July and September.

At the same time, scam calls claiming to be from a political organization grew at a staggering 614% since the beginning of the year. How can you identify one? Hiya has identified the three most common scams.

Re-register or voter verification scams

A caller says he need to re-register you to vote in the upcoming election, or needs to verify your voter registration information. What he's really trying to do is get you personal information so he can steal your identity.

Campaign donation scams

The caller claims to be from a political campaign, and has a 50% chance of guessing whether you are for Trump or Clinton. You'll be asked to make a donation over the phone.

Legitimate campaign organizations, in fact, will ask for a donation over the phone, but it's not a good idea to do that. If you want to donate to a campaign, go to the campaign website and do it there.

Election survey scams

The caller claims to be conducting a survey on behalf of a campaign and promises a prize if you answer a few questions. Seems harmless, right?

It's not. After conducting the survey he or she will ask for your credit card information to cover the shipping costs of your non-existent prize. You won't get a prize, just a few fraudulent charges on your credit card.

The five most common area codes for these scams are 213 (Los Angeles), 803 (Columbia, S.C.), 312 (Chicago), 281 (Houston), and 212 (New York).

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