Census Safety Adviceby Nick LaFleur on Apr. 13, 2010, under Life, phishing, Tips
As you may have noticed if you read this blog, the 2010 Census is underway and many consumers are wondering whom they can trust. The Census is easy, important, and safe — just fill out your form and mail it back.
The IC3 and Better Business Bureau, a 2010 Census partner, are encouraging participation in the 2010 Census while cautioning consumers to get the facts:
- 2010 Census takers will never contact you by e-mail or solicit for donations.
- Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail or text messages; including clicking on links and/or opening attachments contained within.
- Criminals often capitalize on legitimate campaigns to spread computer viruses through e-mails, text messages, “pop-ups,” fraudulent Web sites, or infected legitimate Web sites. The viruses are embedded in an attachment (including pictures), link, and/or computer application. This also applies to tactics used in social networking sites. Remember, not all anti-virus software detects every virus, especially if the virus is newly created.
- Visit 2010.census.gov for official information on the 2010 Census.
- Beware of groups using a similar name to a reputable agency, especially through Web sites. Rather than following a purported link to the Web site, log on directly to the official Web site for the business identified in the e-mail and/or text. Web sites can be verified by utilizing various Internet-based resources to confirm their status and to obtain feedback.
- 2010 Census takers will not ask you for your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as your social security account number (SSAN), driver’s license number, bank account number, or credit card number.
- Do not provide this type of information to anyone claiming to be a 2010 Census taker.
- Please be aware, the Census Bureau does ask for the last four digits of the respondent’s SSAN for one survey: the National Health Interview Survey. This survey touches approximately 65,000 housing units per year.
- For the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau will hire approximately 1.4 million people.
- Do not respond to work-at-home opportunities to be a Census taker, especially if the offer is unsolicited and it occurs through e-mail, text, or other indirect means.However, the Census Bureau may contact, in person, trusted third-party stakeholders, such as schools, media, businesses, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, state, local, and tribal governments to spread the recruiting message. Criminals often use work-at-home scams to commit identity theft by collecting individuals’ PII such as their bank account information, SSAN, and driver’s license number.
- Be wary if someone claiming to be a Census Bureau representative attempts to sign you up as a new employee on the spot. The Census Bureau has a hiring process, which includes taking a test in person, not on-line. To learn more information on what is required to become a census taker, visit http://www.bbb.org/us/article/out-of-work-the-us-census-bureau-is-hiring-nationwide-14365.
If you have information pertaining to a 2010 Census scheme, please file a complaint with the www.IC3.gov and contact your local BBB
along with your local law enforcement agency.
The 2010 Census helps ensure your community receives its fair share of political representation and government funding. Fill out and mail back your census form today!