Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beware Of Phony Voter Registration Schemes

(SPM Wire) While many Americans are showing civic pride and registering to vote, scammers see opportunities to ply their trade.

The experts at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are warning Americans to be cautious with personal information to avoid phony voter registration drives.

"Voter registration laws vary by state and changes take place regularly, which creates the confusing environment that ID thieves thrive on," said Steve Cox of the BBB.

Such theft can be perpetrated through e-mail, phone and even in person:

Beware of phony e-mails appearing to be from government agencies, telling you to click to register to vote or resolve registrations issues. These links direct recipients to sites that install viruses or ask for personal information such as Social Security or bank numbers.

Remember, state government officials don't telephone you if there is an issue with registration, nor do they need bank account or credit card numbers to confirm your identity.

If registering in-person, always ask for proof of which organization the volunteer is with before providing information. While some states require Social Security numbers to vote, they never require bank account or credit card information.

If you think you've become an ID theft or voter registration fraud victim, contact your BBB ( and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP or

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission Web site ( offers information on state voter registration guidelines.

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