The 2010 U.S. Census survey was mailed to all U.S. residents in mid-March, opening the door to con artists who may use the program as an opportunity to defraud people out of their money and their identity.
The U.S. Better Business Bureau in Arlington, VA, warns consumers to be on guard for online and in-person Census fraudsters in the coming months, according to spokeswoman Alison Southwick.
The Census questionnaire asks 10 questions, none involving personal financial information such as bank account or credit card numbers or your Social Security number.
“We are warning people to beware of phishing emails that purport to be from the Census Bureau, as well as phone calls, knocks on the door and mail—basically all forms of contact where people are asked for financially sensitive information such as their Social Security number or bank account numbers,” said Southwick.
To report a scam, contact a regional Census center, the Better Business Bureau and local law enforcement if necessary. Fraudulent emails can be reported to ITSO.Fraud.Reporting@census.gov and fraudulent mail to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Click here to read about the 2010 Census and research current participation rates.