Whether you are voting for Donald Trump or Joe Biden this election, each political party faces a plethora of scams once every four years. Whether its scammers convincing their victims to sign a fake political petition or a fake political charity that seems legit asking for money to support your political party, you can never be too careful during election season. Here are some of the 2020 political election scams that you need to avoid while casting your vote for your favorite presidential candidate.
How to Avoid 2020 Political Election Scams
Fake Political Surveys and Polls
Scammers pretend to survey people via email, texting, and phone calls throughout the United States about what their views are and who their favorite political candidate is. However, once you fill out your answers you’re then asked to provide them with your personal information, which includes your name, address, phone number, date of birth, and in some cases your social security number.
If this doesn’t send red flags your way, maybe the fact that they are asking for your credit card information will. They claim they need it to give you “compensation and prizes” but it’s all LIES! They will just drain your bank account instead and keep the money for themselves.
Voting by Other Means Scam
If someone contacts you out of the blue and claims that you can vote via text messaging, email, or phone call, they are LYING! They only do this so they can get your personal information (and sometimes even your financial information) to commit identity fraud and steal your money. Unless your official county website states otherwise, the only official ways to vote are at a designated polling place or by mail.
Political Donation Scam
Fraudsters pretend to collect donations for a political party the try and convince victims to donate for that particular party. The victim believes that it’s a legit volunteer and hands over their financial information, thinking they will just get charged for the amount they approve. However, the scammer ends up stealing every single cent out of the victim’s bank account, leaving the victim broke and confused.
Also, even if it’s a legit political charitable organization, you still need to be careful when choosing where to give your money to. The percentage of your money that you want to go to that particular organization might go into the organizer’s pockets instead, leaving you to donate more than you actually need to.
Scammers pretend to care about a certain political issue and ask victims to sign their petition. The petition asks for a plethora of personal information, ranging from name, address, phone number, date of birth, and social security number. In some cases, the petition might ask for your financial information in order to “fund the issue” when really they just want to drain your bank account.
Even if the petition is legit, there are some cases where the volunteer doesn’t safeguard your information. This could allow for a scammer to steal your name off of the petition along with your personal information so that they can commit identity fraud. Bottom line, if a petition is asking for more information, choose to protect yourself and not sign it.
Fake Political Websites
Scammers send out links to victims via text or email, asking them to go on the website and donate to their cause. The victim thinks its a legit website and provides the scammer with their personal information and financial information, thinking they are supporting the cause. However, the scammer then takes this information and commits identity fraud while also stealing your money.
These websites could also be infected with malware too, which scans your device for any personal information stored and steals it. This is why it’s important to not click on any random links texted or emailed to you.
Vote Online Scam
Social media ads and phishing links sent via email and text messaging misinform victims and let them know they can vote online. Once they go on the website to vote online, they risk giving up all of their personal and financial information to the scammer. With this information, they can then commit identity theft and steal the victim’s finances.
Snail mail scams still exist, even though we primarily rely on digital technology in the year of 2020. This scam involves mailing households with threats, demanding that you need to vote a certain way or pay the scammer for registration fees. These letters also contain fake voter information and instructions that aren’t true.
Voting Does Not Cost Money
Scammers call their victims up, pretending to be someone that helps people choose who to vote for. They convince the victims that they can help them vote, but it will cost them money for their services. They ask for your private voting information and financial information in order to “help you out”, but instead, they hang up the phone on you as soon as they get the information. They then use your private information to commit voter fraud, identity fraud and steal your money.
How to Avoid These Scams
- Avoid political robocalls by not engaging with anyone calling you about the election.
- Avoid phishing emails and text messages by not clicking on the link nor responding to the message.
- Voting is FREE, and is only available via mail-in ballots or at your local polling place (unless otherwise stated on your county’s official website).
- Don’t believe in everything political that you see, including mailed letters, emails, text messages, phone calls, or social media posts. Only believe what you see on official government websites or what’s on your official ballot.
- Do your research when donating to a political organization.
- Do your research before completing a survey, and don’t provide them with information.
- If a petition requires a plethora of personal information, don’t sign it.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You with 2020 Political Election Scams
At Social Catfish, we identify those who are suspected of scamming our users. If you feel like you were put in a situation where you’ve been scammed and have a tiny-bit of their information, we can help you with our reverse search toolbar. All we need is their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image to see who it is you’ve really been in contact with about voting in the upcoming 2020 political election.