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Scammers target voters with political calls and texts

Beware of surveys and questions about your voting preferences
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Posted at 5:00 AM, Oct 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-26 11:32:31-04

Are you getting tired of political calls and texts? You're not alone.

Midterm elections are fast approaching, and scammers are only adding to the amount of political messaging coming your way.

So it is tougher than ever to tell if that appeal is real, or fraudulent.

Calls, texts hitting cell phones daily

Christopher Wood says he is receiving political calls and texts almost daily.

"I have been receiving at least one text per day," he said. "I've even gotten a couple of robocalls."

Many times they even know his name, which makes it a bit scary.

"It kind of interjects into your daily life," he said. "You got to stop what you are doing and see what it is, and maybe its a number you dont recognize."

Mackenzie Cabela never knows if the calls are legitimate or not.

"When its not a call I was expecting, or someone I was talking to that day," she said, "it just disrupts the workflow."

Whether you vote red, blue, or just want election season to be over, scammers are targeting you, hoping a hot-button issue will be enough to get you to answer or click.

Mechele Agbayani Mills with the Better Business Bureau says it's tempting to donate to a cause or candidate you're passionate about.

But make sure the requests are legitimate.

"When emotions run high you can count on bad players to take advantage of that emotional energy and trick people into making impulsive decisions," she said.

How to protect yourself

She suggests you inspect campaign websites carefully to make sure they are real and not spoofed sites.

Also, she says, be very careful if you are asked to take part in a survey.

"A legitimate survey is probably gonna ask for your demographic information, what party you support things of that nature," she said.

That's fine, she says. But only scammers will ask for your social security number or bank account information.

Another scam to watch out for: the text-your-vote scam.

In those cases, scammers aren't after your money, but rather don't want your vote to count.

"You can't vote via text message," she said. "You either have to go to the polls or some cases you can mail in your vote."

Finally, if you just want the calls to end, check with your cell provider: Most, including Verizon and AT&T, now offer robocall blockers.

Dave Henderson loves his carrier's scam alert app.

"If it says scam likely, I just don't answer," he said.

Finally, ask about removing your phone number from your voter registration, to stop most political calls.

That way so you don't waste your money.

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