Census Bureau Scams are hard to spot and easy to fall for. We all want to do our duty and participate, BUT with so many impersonators, how can you know who to trust?
How the Scam Works:
The Census Bureau, like many organizations, has its fair share of imposters, and they can be hard to spot. But knowing how the Census Bureau operates can help you be better prepared.
The Census Bureau may request information through almost all communication outlets, including phone, email, mail, fax and in-person. But there are only three ways to reply to the census: phone, mail or online. The official website of the Census Bureau is census.gov; the homepage for the 2020 Census is 2020census.gov.
Some of the information census takers request is personal. But the Census Bureau states that they will NEVER ask for your full social security number, money, donations, anything on behalf of a political party, your full bank or credit account numbers, or your mother’s maiden name.
Tips to Avoid Census Scams:
Never give out your social security number. Census takers will never ask for your social security number, bank account number, credit card number, money or donations.
Census takers will never contact you on behalf of a political party. If someone calls on behalf of a political party that claims to be from the census, hang up.
Make sure you respond to the census through Census.gov, the official website. Your regional Census Bureau may also be able to help.
If something sounds suspicious, confirm it by calling the government agency directly or checking the government agency’s website. Don’t click on any links in an unexpected email. Instead, type the official URL into your browser or do a web search to find the right website. Call a trusted phone number other than one provided by the caller to verify the caller’s identity.
Don’t click, download, or open anything that comes from an anonymous sender. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your computer.