You may have been hearing a lot about the 2020 United States Census Bureau, but have you heard about Census Scams? The next time you get a phone call or a card in the mail from the Census, be sure to stop and consider whether or not you’re actually hearing from a scammer! Scammers use the premise of the Census to steal your personal information, credit card details, or even put you at risk for identity theft!
What is the United States Census Bureau?
The Census is mandated by the United States Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The results of the Census help determine how federal funding will be used and dispersed to your community. Fire departments, schools, and highways are all impacted and can benefit from this federal funding. While you should answer the Census, you don’t want to be scammed.
Types of United States Census Bureau Scams
Knowing that most people will answer their Census questions gives scammers the perfect opportunity to locate new victims.
- Phone Scam: Scammers may use the Census as a way to attempt to collect your information by phone. While the Census Bureau may call you as part of their routine quality control and follow-up, they will not ask you for your personal financial information. Ask for a callback number and extension if you are worried about who you are talking to.
- Phishing Links: If you receive an email that seems to be from the Census, it is important to use caution. Scammers create phishing emails that appear to be real but are not. If a link in an email takes you to a website that does not end in .gov, do not enter any information about yourself or your family and leave the website immediately. Fake hyperlinks in emails may redirect you to sites that are different than the name suggests. Scammer’s phishing emails may ask for credit card information, whereas that would never happen in a real Census email.
- Fake Surveys: The Census Bureau sends out real surveys but scammers may recreate them with fake questions or send you to a website intended to steal your private information. The goal of the scammer sending a fake survey is to get your information and money!
What to Do if You’re a Victim?
If you receive a suspicious phone request, email, or other sorts of contact that might be from a scammer, go to Social Catfish. You can use an algorithm based search to find the scammer by email, phone number, username, name, or photograph. AARP recommends that victims report the scam by going to census.gov and call 800-523-3205. Connect with the United States Census Bureau here.
Experts say that what gets you out of bed in the morning is your purpose. At Social Catfish, what fuels our day is the fact that we help others safeguard their online and offline lives. No one deserves to be tricked or scammed! Social Catfish can help uncover the connections who have pulled the wool over your eyes. We can also help you catch one-time scammers. All you have to do is perform a reverse search, and look-up any name, email address, phone number, social media username, or email to see who has been scamming you.
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