If you did not know, every ten years the US Census Bureau, as mandated by the US Constitution, counts every person in the USA. This will occur again in 2010. At such time, more than 140,000 legitimate Census takers will hit the pavement. Now the real question--how do we tell the difference between the actual Census taker and the scam-artist? Sure, you can just not answer the door to an unknown caller, but if everyone did that, the process of census taking could be a futile exercise for the Government.
Here are some tips of what to look for when the US Census taker is on your doorstep:
a) All US Census takers have an official ID card that should be immediately visible.
b) US Census takers will carry an official notepad form.
c) US Census takers have a laptop with an official label affixed to it.
Then the legitimate Census taker will ask these kinds of questions:
-- who lives there?
-- how are they related?
-- what are the ages of the persons in the household?
-- what is each resident’s racial identity?
OFFICIAL CENSUS TAKERS DO NOT EVER ASK FOR MONEY, DONATIONS, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, OR BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION!!!
One way to avoid face-to-face contact is to fill out mail back the forms for the US Census. These forms will be mailed to all US Citizens beginning after January 1, 2010. Legitimate Census workers will not harass or intimidate you into paying any money, or giving them your social security number, or other confidential financial or Banking information about you or your family, etc.
Be aware con-artists can and will fake phony ID’s and ‘sweet talk’ you into allowing them into your home-- so be vigilant. It’s best that you never invite anyone into your home you do not know. Period. Legitimate Census takers will have a unique ID that contains the worker’s name and signature, and they will carry a black canvas shoulder bag, reading “US CENSUS BUREAU”. But remember these items can be faked as well. So if you are in doubt, ask for additional ID, or just don’t let them into your home-- call your local Census Bureau to find out when home-visits will be made, or report suspicious Census personnel conduct.
Please note--any email you may receive purporting to be from the US Census Bureau is a fake. Delete without opening any incoming emails allegedly from the Census Bureau, as they may also contain harmful spyware. Census Bureau will never use emails to communicate with Citizens.
Finally, remember the US Constitution requires a Census every ten years, so it’s a patriotic duty. When you receive the 2010 Census form, which is short, containing about ten questions covering: name, sex, age and date of birth, race, household relationship, and whether you rent or own your home-- fill it out and send it back to the US Census Bureau. This will avoid a hassle or worry about a visit from who-knows-who, and you will be doing your civic duty. Be vigilant and be careful!