The Central Arizona Better Business Bureau is warning Arizona residents to be extremely cautious with their personal information to avoid phony voter registration drives designed to steal their identities.
During years of high interest elections, voter interest and turnout is high. That leads to higher levels of voter registration, especially as the election date draws near. Unfortunately, a projected increase in voter turnout also means there will be a lot of people registering who are unfamiliar with the process, and who may be easy prey for identity thieves.
ID theft under the guise of voter registration can be perpetrated through e-mail, on the phone, and even in person. And younger voters and first-time registrants need to be especially wary. All voters, though, need to be aware of the following ways ID thieves might try to get at their personal information during election season.
Is That Voter Registration Solicitation Legitimate?
Phishing e-mails are spam that attempt to coerce sensitive information from the recipient. When it comes to voter registration scams, recipients may get phishing e-mails 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.
- On the Phone
Similar to phishing e-mails, a voter might receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to work for a government agency or one of the presidential campaign offices. The caller may claim that there is a problem with the voter’s registration and they need to confirm their identity by providing personal information such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers. Voters need to know that state government officials do not contact voters by phone if there is an issue with their registration, nor do they need bank account or credit card numbers to confirm a voter’s identity.
Local voter registration drives often rely on individuals who set up in common public areas or go door-to-door to register voters. Would-be voters should always ask individuals for proof of which organization the volunteer is with before providing any information. While some states require Social Security numbers to vote, states never require bank account or credit card information to confirm the voter’s identity.
Consumers who believe they have become a victim of ID theft or voter registration fraud should contact the Central Arizona Better Business Bureau at 602-264-1721.
There are several safe ways to register to vote in Arizona. The state of Arizona does not require your entire Social Security number on the voting registration form, only the last four digits.