The United States Census Bureau conducts a national census every ten years.  The Census is very important and is required by the Constitution.  Census data is used to determine the numbers of members for each state in the House of Representatives which also affects the Electoral College.  The Census Bureau contacts Americans in a variety of ways including phone calls, letters and even Census Bureau workers who will come to your home.  As a part of the census, you are asked for much personal information, which makes the census a perfect vehicle for identity thieves to pose as census workers in an effort to lure you into providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  A key thing to remember is that the real Census Bureau will never ask you for your Social Security number, bank account numbers or credit card numbers.  Anyone posing as a census worker who asks for that information is an identity thief.

However, the Census Bureau also conducts each year more than a hundred surveys of households and businesses.  Random people are receiving letters, phone calls and even visits from people representing that they are with the United States Census Bureau taking one of these surveys including the American Community Survey.   Here is a link to a list of the surveys being done by the Census Bureau


The United States Census Bureau suggests that people go to their website for information about how to confirm when you are contacted by mail, phone or in person whether you are being contacted by a legitimate representative of the United States Census Bureau however, personally, I don’t think their advice is up to the task and their advice also requires too much effort.  The better way to deal with providing your census information is to provide your information online directly to the census bureau through its website of

The real Census Bureau will call people on the phone who have not completed the census form mailed to them.   Unfortunately, whenever you are contacted by phone you can never be sure who is really contacting you.  By using a technique called “spoofing” a scammer can make his or her call appear on your Caller ID as if the call is coming from the census bureau when it is actually coming from a scammer.  I still believe that the safest way to complete the census form is online at

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