Suspicious Robocall Campaign Warning People to ‘Stay Home’ Spooks Voters
The calls are occurring nationwide
A wave of suspicious robocalls and texts bombarded voters as they began to cast their ballots on Tuesday, sparking fresh concerns about the extent to which malicious actors might harness Americans' smartphones to scare people from the polls.
Across the country, voters have received an estimated 10 million automated, spam calls in recent days telling them to "stay safe and stay home," according to experts who track the telecom industry. In Michigan, meanwhile, government officials on Tuesday sounded early alarms about additional attempts to deceive the state’s voters, including one robocall campaign targeting the city of Flint that told people to vote tomorrow if they hoped to avoid long lines today.
The origins of the each of the calls and texts remain unclear, reflecting the sophisticated tactics that robocallers typically deploy in order to reach Americans en masse across a wide array of devices and services. State election officials have scrambled to reassure voters in response, with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer pledging Tuesday to "work quickly to stamp out misinformation" — and federal officials indicating they are investigating the matter.
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