Census fraud can hit at home or at work (the Census Bureau conducts business-related surveys, too). Be especially watchful for impostors in the spring of 2020, when the actual Census Bureau will be sending out reminders to fill out your form and following up in person at households that don’t respond. (Plans for home visits may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak; check the 2020 Census website for developments.) Count on these tips to head off census scams.
- You get an unsolicited email purporting to be from the Census Bureau. For household surveys and the decennial Census, the agency almost always makes contact by mail.
- A supposed census agent asks you for money or financial data, such as the number of and amount in your bank account.
- A supposed census taker threatens you with arrest. Taking part in the Census is required by law, and you can be fined for not doing so, but you can’t be imprisoned.