HOUSTON - With one week to go before election day, the Better Business Bureau is warning that scammers are posing as campaign workers to get your "campaign donations" to line their pockets.
Your phone may be ringing off the hook from political calls, but the BBB says some may actually be cons to steal your money and identity.
"The scammer lets them lay it out. Oh, you're in favor of this, this, this, this? You know they had a sheet in front of them. Here's the talking points for this candidate, this party," said BBB President Dan Parsons.
He describes how he says a local couple gave their credit card information to what they thought was a political campaign calling but was really a scam.
"They had to change all their credit cards. They'll be on identity monitoring for three years," said Parsons.
While you may have placed your phone number on the Do Not Call Registry, that's for commercial robocalls. Political robocalls are legal and scammers know it.
"The activity is hot right now because we're in the end run of this race so people are expecting calls, robocalls, emails, even in-person contact," Parsons explained.
The Better Business Bureau says scammers are posing as political campaigns, parties, organizations, and pollsters.
The FBI is also warning about election-related emails and websites made to look official, but have misspelled words or use .com instead of .gov. Agents say those sites and emails can download malware onto your computer or ask for personal information.
Parsons says to be on the lookout for scam calls after the election, too. "People are going to be happy or mad, and somebody comes along and they're going to want to talk or get engaged once again," he said.
Here are steps to protect yourself from election-related scams:
Screen your calls and research an organization before you call back. Only call an organization from a phone number you can look up.
Don't trust Caller ID. Scammers can spoof a number to make it look legit.
And if you want to donate to a candidate or party, contact the campaign directly. You can check out candidates and parties through the Texas Secretary of State website.