Over the next 18 months, approximately 1 million U.S. Census workers will be surveying the country’s population to gather demographic information from residents. And Polk County residents will be counted as well.
As the 2010 census process begins, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd reminds residents to be cautious of people who come to your home without the proper identification asking for personal information. Residents are also reminded to be suspicious of fraudulent surveys that may arrive in the mail asking for personal and financial information.
“Your assistance in the 2010 Census is vital for continued progress in our county,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “But it is just as vital that you verify the identity of anyone who alleges to be a Census worker. Your safety, to include the safety of your identity, starts with you.”
Here are a few tips to distinguish between a census worker and a possible con artist:
1. You will likely receive an official Census form in the mail. It will have 10 questions. Please go to the official webpage of the U.S. Census, www.census.gov, if you have any questions about its authenticity. (Forms will begin being delivered in February)
2. Census workers will have a badge, a U.S. Census Bureau canvas bag, and a privacy notice. However, you should never invite anyone you do not know into your home.
3. Census workers are only knocking on doors to verify address information. (Field staff will begin to verify addresses of forms not retuned in late August)
4. DO NOT provide your Social Security number, credit card number, or banking information to anyone, even if they work for the U.S. Census.
5. Census workers will not ask for money. DO NOT give them money if asked to do so.
6. Census workers WILL NOT contact you by electronic mail (email). Never click on a link or open any attachments in an email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.
For more information regarding the 2010 Census, visit the U.S. Census Bureau online at www.census.gov. Remember; please report all suspicious activity immediately by calling the PCSO at 863.534.6200.
For more information about fraud, and identity theft, please contact the PCSO Crime Prevention Section at 863.534.6677.