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Police Warn Of Romney Donation Phone Scam

Published On: May 10 2012 10:01:54 AM CDT
Updated On: May 10 2012 10:55:48 AM CDT

REXBURG, Idaho -

Police are warning about some scams and suspicious activity that have been reported in eastern Idaho.

One scam that's sent emails flooding into our newsroom involves a phone call asking for donations to the Mitt Romney campaign.

Police said it's always a red flag when someone's asking for financial information, like a credit card number, over the phone or online.

"Can we count on you to help Mitt fight for traditional marriage this election?" said a voicemail that Eileen Wilcox came home to on Thursday.

"Big-sounding, high-tech voicemail," said Wilcox. "You know, 'Fight the Obama problems.'"

The caller was trying to solicit donations for Romney from the Rexburg woman. He asked her to stay on the line and give her credit card number to an operator.

Wilcox knows better now, but she didn't when the phone rang back in April. That time, she said, it was a woman with a southern accent asking for money for a Political Action Committee supporting Romney.

"We'd planned to donate, so I thought, 'Oh, this'll be an easy way,'" said Wilcox. "So, I gave them my credit card number and authorized $250."

But the next morning, she said there was that sixth sense telling her something was wrong.

"I just got up and had a pit in my stomach that that wasn't right," she said.

When she logged into her bank account, the payment hadn't been charged yet.

"So, as soon as my bank opened, I canceled my credit card with a great sigh of relief," she said.

Scams are nothing new in eastern Idaho. Wilcox said everyone should know better by now.

"I should've known better," she said.

The Romney supporter still wants to donate to the real campaign. but she plans to find another way.

"Maybe through MittRomney.com, where I think it's legitimate, although I'm going to check on that," said Wilcox.

The numbers calling Wilcox have a 202 area code. That's the Washington, D.C. area. Bingham County and Blackfoot investigators warned of a 206 code, which is also D.C.

Members of the Romney campaign said they're looking into the scam. They confirmed they are not making fundraising calls at this time.

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