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Here’s how you can avoid census scams

Do not give your Social Security number to census workers

SAN ANTONIO – United States Census workers are busy gathering information, and you can expect a call, in-person visit or information in the mail to make sure you are counted. With these processes, however, comes opportunities for thieves who are looking to steal your personal information.

Experts worry about errors if census schedule is sped up

Anne Englert, of San Antonio, said she got several calls from someone claiming to be with the U.S. Census Bureau. She wasn’t sure if it was real or a scam since she had already filled out her census form some months back.

“It just feels peculiar, and I know there’s a scam every day going on,” Englert said.

She said she was reluctant to give out information over the phone to anyone.

According to the Census Bureau’s government website, workers will identify themselves by name and ID number when calling.

Workers will not ask you for money, to make a donation, nor with they ask you for personal information, like your Social Security number. They will also not ask for credit card or banking information nor your mother’s maiden name.

The Census Bureau's website also lists a series of call center phone numbers that might show up on your caller I.D. If you have questions about a call you received, call one of the numbers on the census website to verify if an official government worker contacted you.

Englert said she’s sharing her experience because she’s concerned about others in the community who could be scammed if they’re not careful.

“I look around and I think I think about my neighborhood, and there’s so many people that maybe don’t even have the internet. Some people still have landlines. Some are elderly,” she said. “They’ll call. Don’t give up all the information.”

The deadline to fill out the census form online or by mail is at the end of October.

In August, census workers will actively begin trying to reach the homes that have not yet filled out the census form. The Census Bureau must deliver the new state population counts to the president by Dec. 31.

The count is used to redistribute congressional seats, Electoral College votes and some federal funding.


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