Be cooperative but use caution before supplying information to U.S. Census Workers.
At California Bank & Trust, your safety is important to us – which is why we want to keep you informed of the latest news concerning possible identity theft and fraud.
As the first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census begins, workers are visiting households across the country to count every person in the U.S., verify addresses, and gather names, age, gender, race, and other relevant information. Eventually, more than 140,000 Census Workers will visit each household throughout the nation to collect this information. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft.
How can you tell the difference between an official U.S. Census Worker and an impersonator?
The Better Business Bureau offers this advice:
If a person claiming to be a U.S. Census Worker knocks on your door, they will always have an official badge and other items listed below. Ask to see their identification and badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don’t know into your home.
An official U.S. Census Worker will always have a:
Census Bureau canvas bag
Currently, census workers are only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, it will not ask for Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers nor will employees solicit donations. So pay attention to the type of information that you are being asked.
Census workers are asking to verify:
Basic individual information such as name, age, gender, and other similar data.
Basic financial information, such as a salary range
Census workers will NEVER ask you for:
Social Security number
Credit card account number
Bank account number
While census workers may eventually contact you by phone, mail or in person at home, they will NEVER contact you by e-mail. So be on the look out for email scams impersonating the U.S. Census Bureau. Do not click on a link or open any attachments in an e-mail that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.