Scammers are already gearing up for this year's Presidential election. The Better Business Bureau is advising voters to be on the lookout for a few of the election-related scams.
#1 There will not be a "free cruise" at the end of the voting survey. The public opinion poll scam typically involves a recorded announcement offering a "free cruise" in exchange for participating in a telephone survey. At the end of the call consumers are asked for a debit or credit card number to cover "port fees" and taxes.
#2 President Obama is not going to pay your utility bill. Consumers have been contacted through fliers, social media, text messages, and even door-to-door with claims that President Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills. Scammers claim they need the consumers' Social Security and bank routing numbers to arrange the payments. In return, customers are given a phony bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills. In reality, there is no money, and customers believe they have paid their bills when in fact they have not. Worse, they've just given away everything needed for identity fraud.
#3 Fundraising calls for political donations may not be real. Consumers have reported calls from organizations that sound legitimate, but may not really be related to either the Obama or Romney campaigns. If you aren't sure, don't donate over the phone. If you'd like to contribute to a political campaign or party, locate contact information yourself rather than giving out financial information to a caller. Requesting a callback number is no guarantee you will be connected with a legitimate campaign fundraising committee. Call or visit candidates' websites to obtain contact information to make donation. No one will check your eligibility to vote. Your voter registration record is with your state and no one is going to call or email you to verify your eligibility. What do these callers claim they need to check? Just your credit card or Social Security number.