With the 2020 U.S. Census approaching, consumers should guard their identity against fraudulent requests for their personal information by phone, by email, or in person while complying with official government requests for information.
Better Business Bureau has received reports via BBB Scam Tracker of unsolicited callers contacting consumers, claiming to be conducting a survey or census on behalf of BBB. A Massachusetts consumer told BBB a caller claiming to be from BBB asked repeatedly if the consumer had moved or was planning to move, then hung up when the consumer said, “no.”
Consumers should be wary of other phishing attempts involving the Census Bureau. A Texas consumer reported receiving an unsolicited robocall from a group claiming to be the Census Bureau and offering a free knee brace.
Census workers will never ask you for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers. They do not solicit donations, promise gifts, or ask you to pay money to complete the Census. The Census Bureau will also not contact you by email or phone; if something sounds suspicious, confirm it by calling the government agency directly or checking the government agency’s website. The official website of the Census Bureau is census.gov, and the homepage for the 2020 Census is 2020census.gov.
Don’t click, download, or open anything that comes from an anonymous sender. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your computer. Be cautious of generic emails. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake emails. Always be wary of unsolicited messages that don't contain your name, last digits of your account number, or other personalizing information.