Beware census scam artist tricks



NEW YORK (CNN) -- This week, you'll find a 2010 census survey in your mailbox. And it may be followed shortly thereafter by a call or e-mail from con artists pretending to be from the government.

Scam artists often work off of something that's topical, in the news, that people don't fully understand, like the 2010 census.

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The census questionnaire has a total of 10 questions, and none of those questions should ask you for a bank account, credit card or Social Security number.

Fill out all 10 questions and return the form as soon as possible. If you don't return it in a month that prompts a visit. And only fill out one form for the residence where you spend more than 50% of your time.

Keep in mind that the 2010 census team will never contact you by e-mail. And never click on a link or open an attachment in an e-mail purportedly from the U.S. Census Bureau related to the decennial census.

If you don't mail back your form, you may very well be visited by a census taker at your home.

When a U.S. census worker knocks or you door they will have:

  • A badge
  • A Census Bureau canvas bag
  • A confidentiality notice.

Ask to see their identification and their badge before opening your door and answering any questions.

If someone shows up at your door and either asks you for money to pay for the 2010 census, or they ask you for your Social Security number, don't give them anything.

A census worker who comes to your door will only ask you the questions that are on the survey.

Talkback: Do you know anyone who has received an e-mail "from" the U.S. Census Bureau? (See comments) To top of page

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