September 22, 2006
In Arkansas, the attorney general is warning citizens of his state that an identity theft scheme has begun operating under the guise of a voter registration operation.
Attorney General Mike Beebe says state officials have received a report of an elderly Little Rock woman who was asked to provide unnecessary personal information by someone who came to her door claiming that he could help register her to vote.
In the Little Rock case, the woman was asked to provide her full Social Security Number and information about her health-insurance coverage.
Beebe says while citizens signing up to vote must include an ID number on their application, that number is usually from an Arkansas driver's license.
If a Social Security Number is used, only the last four digits are required. Health-insurance information is never required.
"Identity thieves often look to current events in their attempts to deceive potential victims," Beebe said. "The common arrival of unannounced visitors during a campaign season can provide such an opportunity. If someone comes to your door offering to help you register to vote, ask to fill out the paperwork yourself and give only the information asked for on the state-issued registration form."
Beebe also reminded consumers that they should never have to pay while registering to vote. In 2004, a company charged Arkansas residents $9.95 to help with their registrations. While not a scam, Beebe said, the company was offering a service easily accessible for free.