Wednesday, September 10, 2008

BBB Warns of Identity Theft Through Voter Registration Fraud

Have you registered to vote for the 2008 presidential election yet? It will be an historic election that may draw out over a million new voters, and scammers are hoping to cash in. The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning that ID thieves are using the election as a means to steal personal information from people registering to vote. The thieves are using email, phone calls and even face to face encounters to try and trick people into giving away important personal information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers and passwords. According to a press release from the BBB, unsuspecting individuals are receiving phishing emails:

"that appear to be from a government agency and claim that the recipient must click on a link in the message to register to vote or resolve a registration issue. These links will actually redirect recipients to Web sites that install viruses or malware on their computers or ask for personal information such as Social Security or bank account numbers."

Potential voters are also getting phone calls with claims that there is a problem with the person's voter registration and that they need to confirm their identity with a social security number or credit card number. Do not give unsolicited callers any sensitive, personal information of any kind. The BBB has also posted a video explaining the ways scammers are trying to steal the identity of voters. If you have not registered to vote, do so by following the instructions from you state's election office.

Voter registration rules vary by state, so it is important to know how your state properly registers its voters. To find out you can go to the website for the Election Assistance Commission and look up your state. In Massachusetts, you must register within 20 days of the election and the official federal or state registration form. You have until October 15th to mail in your form. To learn more about how to register to vote in Massachusetts, go to the Massachusetts Election Division website for the correct procedures and forms. If you need to register to vote in another state, click this link to find the website for your state election office.

No comments: