Scam of the day – August 25, 2015 – American Community Survey

Many people are receiving letters, phone calls and even visits from people representing that they are with the United States Census Bureau taking a survey known as the American Community Survey.  While it is true that the official United States Census is only done once every ten years, the Census Bureau does a limited survey of randomly selected people in all of the states as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico each year.

So how can you tell if you are being contacted and solicited for information by a legitimate census worker or by a scammer merely using the American Community Survey as a ruse to gather personal information from you in order to make you a victim of identity theft?  First of all, the real American Community Survey does not ask for your Social Security number or credit card information.  If you are asked for that information, it is a scam.

TIPS

If you are contacted about participating in the American Community Survey, it is prudent to confirm that you have been selected to participate in the survey.  You can do this by calling their service line at 800-354-7271.  You can also complete the survey by phone at this number.  If you have been contacted by phone, you can confirm that the phone call is legitimate by calling one of the Census’ telephone centers.  If you want to verify that someone who is visiting your home is a legitimate census worker, you can confirm this by calling the Census Regional Office for your area.  Here is a link with all of that contact information and more from the Census Bureau.  https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/contact.html