With scams on the rise, Vermonters urged to be cautious, keep personal information safe

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The Better Business Bureau wants you to know about scammers who may be after your personal information ahead of the November election.

Paula Fleming, chief marketing and sales manager with Vermont’s Better Business Bureau, said the callers may pretend to be pollsters, campaign volunteers, fundraisers, or even candidates.

“You have to be extremely cautious about who you’re speaking with,” she said, adding that anyone could be a target. “It’s not just one target audience…unfortunately everyone is vulnerable to potential scams in this area.”

Fleming says in 2020, aided by the pandemic, Vermonters have lost well over $5,000 to scams.

Lisa Jensen, assistant director of the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program, says she’s received reports of unsolicited political emails. She’s also been made aware of other kinds of scams.

“So people getting calls about being threatened that there’s a warrant for their arrest or folks are losing money to Craiglist scams,” she said. “We just had a few complaints regarding puppy scams,” said Jensen.

But Jensen reminds, the Attorney General’s Office has what’s called a VT-Alert System that informs individuals of a patter of a particular scam.

“We then can issue an alert to any vermonter that signs with the scam alert system,” said Jensen.

Vermonters can sign up by calling the Attorney General’s Office or by visiting their website.

When it comes to political scams, Vermont’s Better Business Bureau says to watch for spoofed calls and prize offers, donate directly to the campaign office, and avoid giving out your personal information.

To see what scams are transpiring in your area visit bbb.org/scamtracker.

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