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Tips to avoid fraud during the 2020 Census from Cape Coral Police

Posted at 1:26 PM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 13:26:34-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to take a count of America’s population every ten years through a series of questions known as the decennial census. As a result, the Cape Coral Police Department warns that you can expect criminals to pose as census workers intent on stealing your personal and financial information.

Strangers will be asking personal questions about your household. However, police say that if you do not feel comfortable answering the questions and believe you are being scammed, here are some tips to avoid being scammed.

Avoiding Scams Online

Phishing is a criminal act in which someone tries to get your information by pretending to be an entity that you trust. Phishing emails often direct you to a website that looks real but is fake—and may be infected with malware.

It is important to know that the Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your particpation in the 2020 Census. Further, during the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask for:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your bank account or credit card numbers.
  • Money or donations.

In addition, the Census Bureau will not contact you on behalf of a political party.

Staying Safe at Home

If someone visits your home to collect a response for the 2020 Census, you can do the following to verify their identity:

  • First, check to make sure that they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
  • If you still have questions about their identity, you can call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.

Reporting Suspected Fraud

f you suspect fraud, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. If it is determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department.