Scam Alert: Fraudulent Calls Are on the Rise Thanks to Election Season

Scammers are exploiting a loophole in the Do Not Call law

Scam Alert: Fraudulent Calls Are on the Rise Thanks to Election Season
Image: NCCC
November 3, 2016

Has your phone been ringing more than usual?

Election Day is fast approaching, and scammers are taking advantage of the political season and a loophole in the Do Not Call law to try to pull one over on consumers.

Even if you have registered your number with the National Do Not Call Registry, it is legal for political organizations to call and request a donation and/or your vote. And the closer Election Day gets, the more often they're calling.

Hiya, a company offering phone spam protection and screening services, reports that both legitimate political calls as well as scams pretending to be political messages are increasing.

The company performed an analysis of the political calls recently received by consumers. It discovered that real calls from both the Trump and Clinton campaigns combined have risen more than 64 percent since the beginning of 2016, increasing 20 percent alone between July and September.

The most shocking finding that Hiya made, however, was that scam calls pretending to be legitimate political messages have risen by an astounding 614 percent since the beginning of the year.

Fortunately for consumers, Hiya has identified the three most common scams so that no one will be taken advantage of:

Re-Register/Voter Verification

These scammers claim that they either need to re-register you or need to verify your voter registration information for you to be able to vote in the upcoming election. In reality, they are trying to get your personal information in order to steal your identity.

Campaign Donations

These calls are a bit trickier because legitimate campaign organizations are allowed to solicit donations by phone. Scammers attempting to run this fraud will say they are from a campaign and request that you make a donation over the phone. They have a 50 percent change of guessing which candidate you support.

To avoid being taken advantage of in this way, donate on a campaign's website rather than by phone if you wish to contribute.

Election Surveys

These callers say that they are taking a survey on behalf of a political campaign and promise you a prize in exchange for answering some questions. After conducting the survey, they will request your credit card information to cover the shipping costs for your prize, which does not exist. All you will receive will be fraudulent charges on your card.

The five most common area codes scammers are conducting these frauds from include 213 (Los Angeles), 803 (Columbia, South Carolina), 312 (Chicago), 281 (Houston), and 212 (New York).