Census 2020 — Beware of Fraud

April 1, 2020 is the due date for Americans to submit the 2020 U.S. Census. It’s important to note that census scammers will contact people by phone, email, home visits or phony websites. To avoid census scammers please keep the following in mind.

  • The Census Bureau does not send unsolicited emails asking people to participate in the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau almost always contacts people by mail.
  • The Census Bureau will never ask for:
    • Your Social Security Number
    • Your mother’s maiden name
    • Your banking or credit card account numbers
    • Bank account balances
    • Donations
  • The Census Bureau will not:
    • Threaten you with jail time if you don’t answer questions
    • Contact you on behalf of a political party

If you receive an email that you believe is from a census scammer, do not reply to it, click on links or download attachments. Instead, simply forward it to ois.fraud.reporting@census.gov.

To determine if a census website is legitimate, check to see that the URL has https:// or a lock symbol in the browser window. The domain should be census.gov.

For mailings, check to see that the return address is for Jeffersonville, Indiana — the National Processing Center for the U.S. Census. If the return address is not for this city, it’s a scam.

If a census taker comes to your house, you can ask to see their Census Bureau photo ID badge. It will have a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.

If you suspect fraud, contact the U.S. Census Bureau at 800.923.8282. For more information about census scams, visit the U.S. Census website or view this article and video by the AARP.

By Tlusty Law

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