FBI Investigating After Robocalls Told 800,000 Swing State Voters to 'STAY HOME'
Data and call recordings show that over 3 million automated calls were made
The FBI has launched an investigation after it emerged that 800,000 voters in swing states across America received eerie automated phone calls telling them to "stay home and stay safe" on Election Day.
Over 3 million automated calls were made in total to voters across America, data and call recordings show.
However, the main concern lies among the 800k robocalls made to residents in six presidential swing states.
The potential impact of the calls on the outcome of the 2020 election could be catastrophic.
Though the FBI is aware of the situation, it is not yet known who was behind the cryptic messaging, according to a ProPublica report.
Federal investigators have also yet to determine whether the calls targeted people registered to a specific political party or fit certain demographics.
Also unknown is how many of the callers listened to any of the messages all the way through, according to the New York Post.
One of the messages, just a few seconds long, urged voters to “stay home and stay safe” in a robotic monotone.
A senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official told ProPublica on Tuesday that the FBI is investigating the calls.
“Be mindful of people that are trying to intimidate you, undermine your confidence,” the official said.
Robocalls do present problems during each election year, the official noted.
These calls – discovered by TelTech last December, prior to the coronavirus pandemic – raise red flags among government officials and voters.
One Kansas City resident received the call on election day and told the Associated Press “it felt like voter suppression.”
YouMail, a tech company that makes anti-robocall software, conducted an analysis and found calls began over the summer and increased leading up to election day.
“Whoever created the robocalls used sophisticated tactics, routing the calls in a way that masked their identity and location,” YouMail’s chief executive Alex Quilici explained.
In a statement, the FBI said: “We are aware of reports of robocalls and have no further comment.
"As a reminder, the FBI encourages the American public to verify any election and voting information they may receive through their local election officials.”