Have you received an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to represent your local election board or another civic group who asks for your Social Security number or credit card number to confirm your eligibility or registration to vote? According to the Federal Trade Commission, America’s consumer protection agency, unsolicited calls from people who claim to need your personal information as a pretext to register you to vote – or to confirm your registration – could be a scam designed to steal your personal information. The scammers may use the information to commit identity theft.
As a rule, federal officials say, organizations conducting legitimate voter registration drives either contact you in person or provide you with a voter registration form that you fill out yourself. And they will not ask you to provide any financial information about yourself.
If you get an unsolicited phone call from someone who claims to need your personal information to register you to vote, report it to the FTC. You can file a report online at www.ftc.gov, or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. If you already have shared your personal information with someone you do not know, you may be the victim of a scam. File your complaint, then visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
To register to vote, contact your local election office, or check the Federal Election Commission’s National Voter Registration Form at www.fec.gov/votregis/pdf/nvra.pdf. Most states accept this form, but be aware that individual states and localities have their own rules about how far in advance of an election you must register to be able to vote.
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