Common election season scams to watch out for

Election 2020 New York Voting
Posted at 4:15 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 16:01:54-04

Scammers and hackers are always looking for ways to steal personal and finical information from whoever they can and one of the largest targets is voters.

According to the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office, election scams are common during this time of year and people will try to get access to addresses, ID information and even banking information.

October is Cyber Security Awareness month and elections are right around the corner which means more Idahoans need to be aware of the risks.

“We have our municipal elections coming up soon. We're also getting into that point where we're starting to see some of the statewide candidates out campaigning as well, so a lot going on in the election space, but that means there is a lot more opportunity for scammers to take advantage of all of that extra activity,” Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said.

As candidates start to campaign for upcoming elections, scammers try to make their moves. The Idaho Secretary of State’s office says there are three most common scams during election season. The first one is political donation scams.

“Anytime that you want to make a political contribution, your best bet is to go straight to that candidate's website or ultimately just straight to that candidate themselves in order to make that contribution,” Houck said. “If you get a phone call, be very careful you’re not giving out your personal information in those situations.”

As election season ramps up, there could be more phone poll scams and the Secretary of State's Office says phone polls themselves are not dangerous but make sure you don’t give out any personal information.

“It's not necessary for those pollsters to be able to identify you. They might look for some demographic information, like an age range but very careful about the information you are giving out there,” Houck said.

Voter registration scams are of most concern. The State of Idaho will never contact you asking for voter registration information.

“Anybody contacting you trying to get a full voter profile from you by phone or over email is probably something you ought to consider suspect,” Houck said.

To learn more about the voting process and how it should work, click here.