Viewpoint: October 16, 2012

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call at my house with an automated message telling me I  would win a cruise if I agreed to participate in a presidential poll. While it sounded tempting, I hung up. It's a good thing I did, as the "too good to be true" offer was most likely a scam.

According to the Better Business Bureau, had I stayed on the call, I might have eventually been asked for my credit card number to cover taxes and fees. This election season there are a growing number of scams out there from fake polling calls, like the one I received, to fake fundraising calls.

Some scammers may say they are calling to check your voter eligibility right before Election Day and ask for your social security number. It may be difficult to determine which pollsters are legitimate and which ones are out to cheat you.

The BBB advises never give out personal information such as credit card or social security numbers to someone over the phone unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with the person you are talking to. And, as far as those great-sounding prizes, the BBB says legitimate polling companies never offer prizes for participating in a phone survey.