Criminals are tricking voters out of money by posing as legitimate political fundraising efforts through slick but phony robocalls…
Robocalls aren’t going away anytime soon. Though the TRACED Act will help telecommunications companies reduce the nuisance, as will SHAKEN/STIR, criminals are clever enough to change tactics when necessary. Now, the Better Business Bureau is warning people — registered voters in particular — about a new scheme that will trick them into giving ostensibly legitimate political donations but are in-reality, a scam.
Better Business Bureau Warns Consumers to Avoid Phony Political Fundraising Robocalls
American consumers received almost 60 billion robocalls last year, according to YouMail, a voicemail software developer. The firm estimates that number will increase by 22 percent this year. And, with the 2020 presidential election underway, there’s even more opportunity to rip people off. Because of this, the Better Business Bureau is sounding the alarm about a new scheme that involves robocalls. Here’s how it works.
Automated calls go out from machines that contain a genuine-sounding recorded voice. Those voices are designed to sound just like high-profile candidates who are running for public office. The message tells people who answer that their political rivals have raised a lot of money. In order to help their candidate win, more donations are required. If the recipient stays on the line, they are transferred to a real person, who conveniently takes their credit card or debit card information. Of course, the donations don’t actually go to a campaign, the thieves just make off with the money.
The BBB advises people to screen their calls to avoid such scams. Also, not to respond to unsolicited robocalls and register their numbers with the national Do Not Call Registry.