With the 2020 Presidential Election just days away, USCCU reminds you to remain cautious and vigilant as scams are, once again, on the rise. Current events prove to be a lucrative time for scammers to take advantage of their victims.

5 Major Voter Scams This Election Season

According to a new report from IDWatchdog – an Equifax Company, there are five major scams currently plaguing voters during this election season.

1. Fake Voter Survey or Polls

Scammers use fake polls as an opportunity to capture as much of your personal information as they can. Taking a fraudulent poll may not seem like a big deal, but if the poll is asking for your name, birthdate, address, or social security number, you may want to think twice. And, if a poll offers financial compensation or prizes – STOP and do not proceed.

Remember, legitimate polls may ask you how you are choosing to vote or your political affiliation. However, they will rarely ask for your name, and will never ask for your address, email address, date of birth, social security number, or driver’s license number. And don’t get fooled by a prize option either – especially if it is asking for you to provide a credit card number or bank account number to receive the prize!

2. Voter Registration Scams

If you receive a notice stating you can vote by email, text, or phone call, this is not real. Fraudsters are citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason why these options are available for voting this year, but it is simply untrue.

When in doubt, check with your local or state election office to determine the voting methods allowed in your area.

3. Political Donation Scams

It has happened to most of us. We come home from work or the grocery store and there is a political door hanger on our front door promoting a certain candidate. Fraudsters take it a step further through door knocking. They’ll pose as a volunteer for a certain person, party, or measure on the ballot, and pressure you to donate right there, likely only accepting cash. They will tell you there is a timeline tied to the donation process and if you don’t give now, you’ll miss your opportunity to support.

Always research fundraising organizations before donating. Donate directly to the campaign. Use a candidate’s official website or local office. Most legitimate volunteers will not accept cash at the door, but rather will point you to donate through the website when possible.

4. Impersonation Scams

According to IDWatchdog, scammers may use recorded audio of a candidate’s voice to solicit donations for the campaign. They will use the recorded audio to call requesting a donation. The call will ask you to press a button to be directed to a representative to complete your donation transaction.

Once again, if you are choosing to donate to a cause, do so at the local campaign office or through the secure website. If someone asks for money over the phone, hang up.

5. Questionable Petitions

Petitions are a popular way for citizens to share their concerns or take a stand against or for a particular candidate or item on the ballot. However, exercise caution when participating – if the person handling the petition does not protect the information on the petition, it can open the door for identity theft.

Review a petition before participating. If it is asking for a large amount of personal information, it might be best not to participate.

You can never be too cautious when it comes to your personal information.

Stay vigilant and ask questions if someone is pressuring you to participate or donate money.

If you believe you have been the victim of an election-related scam, please contact your state or local election officials. We encourage you to visit these resources as well:

Information provided by IDWatchdog – helping US ensure your safety this election season.