June 23, 2018
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Sham political survey really time-share cruise pitch, attorney general warns

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine attorney general’s office on Friday issued a scam alert about a sham political robocall that disguises a vacation time-share pitch as an election poll.

A group called Political Opinions of America uses an automated voice to ask a three-question poll, according to a press release issued by Maine Attorney General William J. Schneider. After answering, Caribbean Cruise Lines offers the consumer a free cruise for taking the survey.

The free offer, however, requires a port fee or tax to be paid by credit card over the phone, the press release said. The cruise claims to be designed to expose people to sales pitches for vacation time shares.

“Legitimate campaign calls can be expected during election season and the information that pollsters obtain from voters is valuable to the campaign process,” Schneider said in the release. “A bonafide survey will not try to reward you with a free service or sell you something.”

The Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry bans unsolicited prerecorded sales calls to any number on the list, the release noted. For information, visit http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt107.shtm or https://www.donotcall.gov/.

Maine residents who want to report a survey scam may call the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 626-8849.

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