The candidates will do anything to get your vote. And it looks like the election-year scam artists will do anything to get your money!
They may contact you with all sorts of ruses, or even show up at your door posing as campaign workers seeking donations. And unless you know how to recognize a fraudster, you could suddenly find you’ve been played for a sucker in a new version of one of this country’s oldest con games.
Beware of these 3 contribution cons
There are three major scams the AARP has uncovered that could easily hoodwink you out of your hard-earned cash:
Giving a campaign contribution to someone claiming to represent a candidate. Rather than whipping out your checkbook (or worse yet, giving them the number of your credit or debit card) when they call or visit you, you should look up the official website of whatever party or group you wish to contribute to. And don’t assume that any e-mail you get soliciting funds is legit, either, until you’ve checked it out.
Calling a number provided to you via an e-mail or robocall (telling you how you can vote by phone, for instance).It might well be an overseas callback number disguised with a U.S. area code – and could launch your phone bill into the stratosphere.
Falling for an offer to do your registration paperwork for a fee – which, though legal, is totally unnecessary, since free forms to update you voter registration are readily available from public sources, such as libraries and post offices.
There are also more subtle schemes aimed at getting personal data that might be used by identity thieves.
For example, you might get an unsolicited offer to confirm or update your voter registration that includes a request for your credit card info. Legitimate canvassers wishing to make sure people are registered would NEVER request anything like that, and would leave forms for you to fill out.
To stay updated on the latest scams that are circulating, check out the AARP’s fraud watch network here.
Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert. Through HSI, she and her team uncover important health information and expose ridiculous health misinformation, most notably through the HSI e-Alert.
Visit www.hsionline.com to sign up for the free HSI e-Alert.
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