The following bulletin was issued by the Better Business Bureau:
Type: U.S. Census Scam
Method of Delivery: In Person
Primary Region Effected: All Regions (National)
Source: Better Business Bureau (www.BBB.org)
Beginning March of this year the U.S. Census Bureau's will send out a short questionnaire to every household in the U.S. and Puerto Rico in an effort to collect important demographic data. As a citizen, you are required by law to respond to the 10 short questions. From April to July, those that haven't completed their census will receive a visit at their home address from a census taker.
Identity criminals are taking advantage of the census law and targeting unsuspecting victims in an attempt to steal sensitive information. The scams perpetrated range from fraudulent emails designed to obtain sensitive information to attempts to impersonate census collectors.
Most Citizens don't think twice about sharing personal information with a census worker, and that's why these scams can be very effective. It's important to remember there are distinct differences between a real census worker and an identity thief posing as a census worker.
U.S. Census workers will have identification, a handheld device and a confidentiality notice. But these things can be easily fabricated, so it's important to know what census workers will not do:
- They will not ask for your Social Security number or financial information, e.g. bank or credit card accounts.
- They will not ask you for money or say that you owe money.
- They will not harass or intimidate you.
- They will not contact you by email- only by phone, by mail, or in person.
For more information on this scam or variations of it visit the Social Security Administration’s website at www.ssa.gov. Use the search function and enter keywords "email scam".
It is recommended that you follow universal safety rules-- even with U.S. Census workers. For example, avoid inviting strangers into your home, and be suspicious when someone asks for your personal and sensitive information.
To learn more about the 2010 Census and U.S. Census workers, call (800) 923-8282 or visit them online at www.2010census.gov.