State officials warn that robocalls are spreading misinformation about voting in the election

Written by on September 21, 2020

State officials warn that robocalls are spreading misinformation about voting in the election

By Megan Frank

September 21, 2020

State officials are warning Pennsylvanians about robocalls that are spreading incorrect information about voting in the election. Some calls falsely claim personal information about mail-in voters will be shared with law enforcement to arrest people on outstanding warrants — and may even report those with outstanding debt to credit card companies.

A robocall often dials numbers using fake area codes, sometimes from outside the country.  Scott Gingold runs a Lehigh Valley IT company. He says robocalls were initially used for emergency alerts. But in some cases have morphed into scams. 

“The FCC has taken action in the past to block these, but certain organizations were exempt, like political and charitable organizations,” said Gingold.

Gingold says stopping robocalls can be tough. He suggests registering your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. There are also apps like Hiya and RoboKiller that may help to curb the calls.

Matt Krayton, teaches digital media and business at Centenary University. He says he expects political robocalls, and other ads campaigns, to increase leading up to the election. Spreading misinformation about voting by mail or even to possibly even to keep people at home on election day. 

“In a swing state like Pennsylvania, you’re going to be inundated with all of these sorts of things. So, it’s very easy for misinformation to spread very quickly. State offices are the first place to look. Anything that comes in as a robocall, always look at that with a skeptical eye,” said Krayton.

The attorney general is asking people who receive these calls or any suspected election scam to report it to local law enforcement, the state department or to his office.

Visit votespa.org for official voter information for Pennsylvanians.

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