Beware of election-related scams, BBB says


Scams related to politics and election season are pervasive, according to experts.

MINNEAPOLIS — With a relentless number of campaign calls, texts and emails during this election season, our Verify Team received a submission over the weekend asking if daily emails from the Biden/Harris campaign were legitimate. 

Steven told us he was hesitant to respond or submit donations, because “I’m always leery of giving money through emails or phone texts.” KARE 11 was unable to verify if Steven’s emails were real, but for general advice, we turned to Susan Adams Loyd, the CEO and President of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota.

“It’s best to go to direct websites that you know are legitimate,” Adams Loyd said. “The texts and phone calls that come in randomly, unsolicited… I would be wary of.” 

The Better Business Bureau suggests you always go to either an official website or local campaign office if you’re worried. The constant barrage of campaign literature can be overwhelming, and scammers are adept at taking advantage of chaotic situations.  

The year 2020 is particularly difficult, Adams Loyd said, because of the confusion already created by the pandemic. 

“It lends itself to an environment that’s ripe for fraud,” she said. 

RELATED: Ballot or application? How to tell the difference between different election mail

According to the BBB, here’s a few of the scams you should look out for:  

  • Scammers asking you to vote by phone 
  • Scammers asking for donations as a way to steal your Social Security or credit card numbers 
  • Scammers posing as elected officials  

“We encourage people, especially during this time, to screen their calls,” Adams Loyd said. “Fraudsters can spoof numbers to make it look like a local call or something that’s familiar to you. And, in fact, it’s not.” 

On Monday, Adams Loyd joined Secretary of State Steve Simon for a streamed event on Facebook to discuss election security, including election-related scams. 

Simon acknowledged the seriousness and pervasiveness of these schemes, reiterating that fraudsters want to take advantage of election season to steal Social Security numbers, credit card information and even driver’s license numbers.  

He also said that his office has “hardened” its systems…



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