With the November elections only about a month away, Better Business Bureau says scammers are taking advantage of people who think they are participating in a political poll.
BBB's Emily Valla says it starts with a call from someone claiming to be conducting a political survey. The pollster wants to ask you questions about the upcoming presidential election. They tell you, in exchange for a few minutes of your time and your opinions, you will get a gift card or other reward.
"It sounds easy, but don't do it! After answering several legitimate sounding survey questions, the caller typically asks you to provide your credit card number. Allegedly, you need to pay for the shipping and taxes of the "prize" you've won," Valla said.
If you get a call about a political survey, Valla says you should keep in mind legitimate polling companies rarely offer prizes for participating in a survey, and none would ask for a credit card number. Valla says immediately hang up the phone on any political pollster who claims you can win a prize. They also don't need your social security number.
BBB says if you would like to donate, do so directly to the campaign office in person or through the candidate's official website.
"Donations made over the phone can be valid, but cold calls also can be a scam tactic. Watch for spoofed caller IDs that appear to be Washington, D.C.," Valla said.
Also, always research fundraising organizations before donating.
"Be especially cautious of links that come to you through email or social media, and don’t click through. Instead, go directly to an organization’s website by typing the URL in your browser or using a search engine," Valla said.
For more information or to report an election scam, visit bbb.org.