U.S: Iran and Russia Obtained Voter Registration Data to Interfere in U.S. Election 'If you receive an intimidating or manipulative email in your inbox, don't be alarmed and do not spread it,' the U.S. Director of National Intelligence said on Wednesday.

By Michael Kan

This story originally appeared on PCMag

Sean Rayford/Getty Images via PC Mag

Iran has been sending emails to U.S. voters in an attempt to intimidate them at the polls, according to U.S. officials. The warning comes after voters in Alaska, Arizona and Florida reported receiving emails with the subject line: "Vote Trump or Else."

The emails claim to come from the far-right organization the Proud Boys and warn the recipient that all their personal information, including phone number and address, has fallen into the group's hands. "You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you," the messages threaten.

But according to U.S. intelligence, the emails are actually the work of an Iranian group out "to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump," John Ratcliffe, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, said during a surprise news conference on Wednesday.

"Additionally, Iran is distributing other content to include a video that implies that individuals could cast fraudulent ballots, even from overseas," he added. "This video, and any claims about such allegedly fraudulent ballots, are not true. These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries."

However, Iran isn't alone in attempting to manipulate U.S. voters. Ratcliffe also claimed Russia has taken "specific actions" to influence public opinion during the elections. Specifically, U.S. intelligence has "confirmed" foreign actors with both countries have obtained some voter registration information, which explains how the Iranian group was able to message the U.S. voters via email.

"This [voter registration] data can be used by foreign actors to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy," he added.

Related: 50 Cent Doubles Down on Rejection of Biden's Tax Plan

So far, U.S. intelligence hasn't observed Russia sending spoofed emails to manipulate U.S. voters. During the short eight-minute press conference, Ratcliffe also didn't go into specifics about how the U.S. determined Iran's and Russia's involvement.

But in response, the U.S. is trying to combat the election interference attempts with the truth so that the public won't fall for the scare tactics. "Do not allow these efforts to have the intended effect," Ratcliffe added. "If you receive an intimidating or manipulative email in your inbox, don't be alarmed and do not spread it. This is not a partisan issue."

Wavy Line
Michael Kan


Michael has been a PCMag reporter since October 2017. He previously covered tech news in China from 2010 to 2015, before moving to San Francisco to write about cybersecurity.

Editor's Pick

A Leader's Most Powerful Tool Is Executive Capital. Here's What It Is — and How to Earn It.
One Man's Casual Side Hustle Became an International Phenomenon — And It's on Track to See $15 Million in Revenue This Year
3 Reasons to Keep Posting on LinkedIn, Even If Nobody Is Engaging With You
Why a Strong Chief Financial Officer Is Crucial for Your Franchise — and What to Look for When Hiring One

Related Topics

Business News

More Americans Are Retiring Abroad, Without a Massive Nest Egg — Here's How They Made the Leap

About 450,000 people received their social security benefits outside the U.S. at the end of 2021, up from 307,000 in 2008, according to the Social Security Administration.

Business News

7 of the 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in the U.S. Are in One State

A new report by U.S. News found that San Diego is the most expensive city to live in for 2023-2024, followed by Los Angeles. New York City didn't even rank in the top 10.

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.

Business News

Woman Ties the Knot at White Castle Almost 30 Years After the Chain Gave Her Free Food as a Homeless Teen

Jamie West was just 12 years old when she ran away from the foster care system.