Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Voter Registration Fraud Could Lead to Identity Theft

Via CIO Today.

The presidential election is nearly upon us, and with interest in the race peaking, both political parties will be pushing for maximum voter registration in the coming weeks. While many Americans are showing their civic pride and engaging in the political process, scammers and ID thieves see an opportunity to ply their trade. Your Better Business Bureau is warning Americans to be extremely cautious with their personal information this election season to avoid phony voter registration drives that are designed to steal their identities.

The New York Times puts the potential number of new voters in the millions and, according to the Pew Research Center, if the current level of voter engagement continues up to the election, the nation could experience historically high voter turnout this November. Unfortunately, a projected increase in voter turnout also means there will be a lot of people registering who are unfamiliar with the process, and who may be easy prey for ID thieves.

While pundits are concerned about voter fraud and its potential to skew election results, ID thieves are taking voter fraud in a different direction by trying to get their hands on new voters' personal information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers. Voter registration laws vary by state and changes take place regularly, which creates the confusing environment that ID thieves thrive on.

ID theft under the guise of voter registration can be perpetrated through e-mail, on the phone, and even in person.

More here.


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