Beware of Election-Related Scams

Threat actors commonly leverage public interest during high profile events, such as elections, to conduct financial fraud, steal personal information, and distribute malware. With Election Day quickly approaching, it is important to maintain awareness of the many election-related scams circulating. Scammers may target victims through a variety of methods, including phone calls, text messages, or emails, and many of these schemes utilize spoofing to make correspondence appear as though they are coming from a legitimate entity.

Recent election-related scams include:

  • Text messages or phone calls claiming potential voters can vote by phone or that they are required to reregister to vote. If the recipient provides the caller with their personal information, it can be used for identity theft.

  • Text messages or phone calls claiming that their early vote or absentee ballot has not been recorded. While this is true, as ballots are not counted until election night, it is misleading voters.

  • Audio clips of candidates’ voices, likely taken from speeches or interviews, to request a donation to their campaign. If the recipient selects to donate, they will be redirected to an agent who will take the payment card information and may use it to make fraudulent purchases.

  • Callers claiming to be taking an election-related survey and offering a reward for answering their questions, such as free cruise tickets. The caller claims they only require a payment card for port fees and taxes and assure the recipient that their tickets will be sent to them. The payment card may then be used to make fraudulent purchases.

  • Social media posts incorrectly claiming that polling locations or times have changed. This tactic may be used to suppress voters and influence the election results.

The NJCCIC encourages everyone to visit the NJ Department of State websites to verify their voting location and date/time here and their voter registration status here. Recipients are advised to be especially wary of unexpected messages or unsolicited email requests, particularly ones that convey a sense of urgency, including those that appear to come from known senders and invite them to click on a link, open an attachment, or provide sensitive information. Before taking any action on these messages, be sure to verify the sender via another means of communication. Cyber-related incidents may be reported to the NJCCIC via our incident reporting form here. To report all other scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission website here .

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