Secretary of State Miller and Attorney General Masto Issue 2010 Census Scam Alert
February 17, 2010
(Carson City, NV) - Secretary of State Ross Miller, Chair of the Statewide Complete Count Committee, and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto today issued a consumer advisory alert concerning various 2010 Census scams occurring throughout the country.
The scams include official-looking requests for personal financial information. The requests could come in the form of an email, direct mail, or even someone knocking on the door of a household.
While state officials are urging Nevadans to participate in the 2010 Census when they receive their questionnaires next month, they are also advising people to watch out for scams.
“Unfortunately, scammers are using the opportunity of the 2010 Census to illegally obtain personal information from our citizens,” Attorney General Masto said. “Nevadans must know that the U.S. Census Bureau is seeking only demographic information and would not ask for highly personal information like social security, bank account, or credit card numbers.”
“Nevadans should feel completely confident about participating in the 2010 Census,” added Secretary of State Miller. “It is very important that every household participates. At the same time, we should always watch out for the crafty crooks who will try to take advantage of any situation. We must all use common sense and not give out financial account information that would give someone else easy access to our money.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the official questionnaires will be dropped at household doors in many rural areas of the state beginning in early March. The questionnaires will start showing up in urban mailboxes in mid March. Census Bureau workers will start visiting group homes, such as assisted living facilities and dormitories, in late March. On about May 1st, workers will begin knocking on doors of single family households that have not mailed in their questionnaires or failed to properly complete the form. 2010 Census workers will never make contact by email and will carry an ID badge when out in the field.
Individuals can avoid being visited at home by a census worker by promptly and completely filling out and mailing back the questionnaire.
Census Bureau officials also remind Nevadans that the agency conducts ongoing targeted surveys that are distinct from the 10-year census. Only a small percentage of the population would be targeted at any one time in those surveys, often referred to as the American Community Survey (ACS). Individuals with questions about the ACS can contact the Western Regional office of the U.S. Census Bureau at 1-800-852-6159 or visit http://www.census.gov/survey_participants/.
The official questionnaire of the 2010 Census can be viewed at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php. Complete information about Nevada Census 2010 can be found at www.nevadacensus2010.com.
An Information service of the Denver Regional Census Center
Census Scams Are In The News:
There were two recent mailings we know of that were NOT sent by the U.S. Census Bureau but have “Census” on the document:
• Republican Party letter (asks for money at the end)
• Census of Senior Citizens
Facts About the Census Bureau and Data Collection:
• Census workers never ask for money or bank account information.
• Census workers will always have an official ID badge.
• An advance letter is typically sent to the household before census workers show up in person.
• Census workers do collect data other than the 2010 Census, The unemployment rates, housing starts, consumer price index numbers, and other statistics are all collected by the U.S. Census Bureau through monthly surveys, conducted door to door by interviewers called field representatives. They also carry official ID badges.
• 2010 Census advance letters will be sent the first week of March.
• The official 2010 Census questionnaire will be delivered by mail the week of March 15.
• Individuals in rural areas will have their questionnaire delivered in person to their household between March 1 and March 30.
Questions/Concerns Contact #:
To make sure an individual is a legitimate census worker within the Denver region call 1 -800-852-6159.
Most census forms will arrive in the mail, prominently displaying the “Census 2010” logo.
Census workers wear an official idenfification badge which may or may not have a picture.
Many census workers carry U.S. Census Bureau bags, making them easier to identify .