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The Census Is Coming And So Are The Scammers

U.S. Government

Next year, workers will be fanning out across the U.S. to do the official nose count known as the U.S. Census. It's conducted every 10 years and has an important role in how the government and communities operate.

But lurking just below the legitimate role of the Census are scammers, sensing a golden opportunity to fleece your money.

Michelle Reinen works with the state Division of Consumer Protection. She says whenever there's a large national roll out like the census, scammers will try to manipulate the information.

She says the best way to stop fraud is to be educated...

"...In mid-March of 2020, the Census Bureau will start mailing out invitations to participate in the 2020 census. Everyone should get theirs by April 1. Everyone can respond online or by phone or by email. They will get a government mailing that is that invitation..."

She says starting in May, if people haven't responded to the earlier contact, there will be a person coming around to talk  one-on-one. Reinen says the worker can come back six times and will leave a door hanger so they can schedule a visit.

Reinen says workers will ask you some private information, but there are certain things they WON'T ask you...

"But they won't be asking you questions about your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers. Money or donations will not be requested. Nothing on behalf of a political party will be asked. It won't ask questions about your citizenship status as well..."

Reinen says if this type of information is requested, it's a red flag.

She says there's more information there's a website, 2020Census. gov

The Division of Consumer Protection website is here.

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