Wallingford, CT – May 21, 2012 – Connecticut Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about trends crossing the country in which scammers pose as public opinion poll-takers, offer free gifts in return for participating and then ask for credit card number to cover processing fees.
Other callers falsely claim to represent political campaign fundraisers and ask for contributions.
The approach of the fall elections offers criminals new ways to fool consumers into handing over credit card information.
“The political campaign and public opinion poll scams are examples of how we have to be suspicious of anyone who asks for credit card information over the telephone, over the Internet or at our front door,” according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti.
The public opinion poll scam typically involves a recorded announcement offering a “free cruise” in exchange for participating in a telephone survey. At the end of the call consumers are asked for a debit or credit card number to cover “port fees” and taxes. Consumers who hesitate or ask if they could call back after to allow them to verify the caller’s identity were subject to high-pressure tactics, such as being told that the free cruise offer “is only good right now,” and that if they hung up they would be disqualified.
Connecticut BBB offers consumers these tips to avoid election campaign shakedowns:
•Legitimate polling companies will never offer prizes for participating in a telephone survey, nor ask for a credit card number.
•If you’d like to contribute to a political campaign or charity, locate contact information yourself rather than giving out financial information to a caller.
•Requesting a callback number is no guarantee you will be connected with a legitimate campaign fundraising committee.
•Call or visit candidates’ websites to obtain contact information to make a donation.
You will find the latest information about scams and helpful tips at http://ct.bbb.org/