Scammers love election-time, particularly when presidential candidates are involved. It's a time for them to jump on the phone and pressure you into donating money for the person you would like to see take office. Beware, scammers pocket the money they take from you - and that's not all, if you've given them your personal information and credit card number, you run the risk of identity theft at a dollar amount far higher than the money you elected to "donate".
"Always go to your candidate-of-choice's website or campaign office to donate," said CSLEA Foundation Chairman Kenny Ehrman. "It's true, campaigns will call you and ask for donations, but how are you going to truly verify that it's the campaign calling or a scammer?"
The Better Business Bureau has tips to avoid becoming a victim of a election-time scam:
- Donate directly to the campaign office: Donations made over the phone can be valid, but any wary donor should give to campaigns either through the candidates' official website or at a local campaign office.
- Watched for spoofed calls: Your Caller ID may say that someone from Washington DC is contacting you, but scammers can fake this using phone number spoofing technology.
- Polling companies don't offer prizes: Just hang up on any political pollster who claims that you can win a prize for participating in a survey
- Polls won't ask for personal or banking information: Political pollsters may ask for information about your vote or political affiliation, but they don't need your Social Security number or credit card information.