ICFE eNEWS #16-35 - Oct 13th 2016
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Voter Registration Fraud and Identity Theft

By Yan Ross, Director of Special Projects, ICFE

In the midst of all the current emotional election coverage in the media, there's an opportunity identity thieves are exploiting.

The identity thieves may start with a phone call or an e-mail message, but the approach is the same: Consumers receive a communication saying there has been an issue with their voter registration and they need to verify it by calling a number or visiting a website.

Once connected, the perpetrators attempt to engage with the unsuspecting victims. Usually, the pitch is based on a claimed voter registration status that is about to or already has expired, and it needs to be renewed in order to be able to cast a vote in the upcoming election.

That sets up the foundation for them to access personal information, especially to "confirm" such vital elements as date of birth, Social Security Number, and even log-in information for common commercial web sites and credit card specifics.

With so much hype during the campaign season, it is easy for an individual to get caught up in the web of deceit and give in to the urgent nature of the communication. We are constantly reminded, even in public service messages, how important every vote is this year.

The recommended course of action is to be mindful about the predations of identity thieves, stay informed about new and recurring scams, be cautious about unexpected communications by phone or e-mail, and notify authorities (usually your local County Clerk, who is responsible for maintaining the voter rolls) of any such unusual activity.

Be aware that there are many variations of this scam, so if there is any doubt about the legitimacy of such a communication, check with the local authorities, at the phone number listed in the local phone book or official government web site.

Be sure to vote this November, but don't fall victim to this identity theft scam.

The ICFE's Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist ® XV CITRMS® course is now available both in printed format and online.

The Textbook and Desk Reference edition of the course book is also available online. Bulk pricing and discounts for veterans and students available. Inquire at yan.ross@icfe.info

Yan Ross is ICFE's Director of Special Projects, and the author of the Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist ® XV CITRMS® course. As an accredited educator for over 20 years, he has addressed Identity Theft Risk Assessment and management for consumers, organizations holding personally identifiable information, and professionals who work with individuals and organizations who are at risk of falling victim to identity thieves.

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Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

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