WARNING: 2010 Census Cautions from the Better Business Bureau

United States
October 26, 2009 5:03pm CST
I had not seen this warning before so just in case some of you also missed it I thought I would post it for your information. It seems I must be wary of scammers and would be identity thieves every-time I turned around! Any comments? Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data. The big question is - how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? The BBB offers the following advice:** If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don't know into your home.** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information.. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, the Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers nor will employees solicit donations. Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau. For more advice on avoiding identity theft and fraud, visit http://www.bbb.org
4 people like this
8 responses
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Oct 09
hi whiteheather My son had already told me a lot of this so I sort of got it full hand so to speak. As you know he was out of work so they signed him and a bunch of others up to do the census. the training was really rigorous and just about all' you have told us, my son has already told me.They had to have a lot of training and also had to know just what they could 'and could not ask people. So I knew that if anyone came around here asking for my social security number and other private information they were not the real Census takers at all.He and all the others had to show all the credentials at each and every home. I did receive some sort of scam email which I deleted immediately. I got another email a bit different from the supposed IRS wanting me to pay some back tax. AS I only worked part time when I was working and did not make enough to owe any tax, plus the fact that I have been retired for the past four years I knew this was a scam. But in the interest of letting the IRS know their name was being used in a pishing email I phoned them and they said they never sent out emails at all but thanked me for letting them know someone was using their name.
3 people like this
• United States
26 Oct 09
I am glad your son had you prepared. I am also very wary of any emails asking for personal information as I foolishly got caught in one from PayPal about 3 years ago. It was very good that you called the IRS as I know from my experience as a Medicare Fraud Investigator we took every telephone call from observant people very seriously.
3 people like this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
27 Oct 09
WOw thatnks for the info. Some people dont have anything better to do than try to scam poeple grrrrrrrrrrrrr. Ua know I dont thnk I have ever had a Census taker come to my house I moved to much lolol now in one place so I might get hit this year!
3 people like this
@millertime (1398)
• United States
27 Oct 09
Great info Whiteheather and thanks for bringing it to people's attention. The scammers and criminal types take advantage of any opportunity they can get and an educated public is the best defense against them. I think most of the census is done by mail today so I would be VERY wary of anyone that came to my door. I would advise people to ask to see the badge and ID before opening the door and if they don't produce it, don't open the door and call the police immediately. Home invasions are getting more and more common. I am also going to pay close attention to the questions they ask as I have heard they might try to collect information that doesn't really fall under their jurisdiction. It might just be rumor but it will be interesting to find out what's actually on the form. [;-)
@GardenGerty (99354)
• United States
27 Oct 09
Yes, it seems that anything can be turned into a scam these days. I usually get my census by mail. I would never give out personal information to them, that is for sure.
@eaforeman6 (8983)
• United States
27 Oct 09
This sounds very risky because some people who are criminals may try to take advantage of us. We are all going to have to be very careful. Appreciate you bringing this up and pointing it out~
2 people like this
@ronnyb (6125)
• Jamaica
26 Oct 09
Wow I dont live in the Us but your warning has helped to keep me on my toes with regards to giving out information .Luckily our census persons are normally people from around the community and well known by most persons and in addtion tehy rarely ask for personal financial information and definitely not even social secutity.I hope this warning helps my fellow mylotters and people in general as scammers are everywhere
2 people like this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
29 Oct 09
[b]I've only had to actually speak to one, once. All the other times I've simply been mailed a form. When I get it, I answer the one question the Constitution tells me to--that I live here. The rest, I don't care what it is, I just leave blank. I don't trust the government, & haven't for decades. They just keep giving me reasons not to! Maggiepie "OBAMA IS AN 'UNDOCUMENTED WORKER.'"[/b]
@free_man (7337)
• United States
9 Nov 09
Hello Whiteheather. Thanks for the information. I wouldn't give out that kind of information to anyone. But there area a lot of people that don't know any better. Thank you it is always nice to know other people are out there thinking about how to protect others and it is surely appreciated. I will send this to all my friends so they can beware of these things too. Have a great day!