Census officials are warning residents about potential census scams by identity theft criminals looking to obtain your personal information, like a social security number, illegally.
Beginning this month the U.S. Census Bureau will send out a short questionnaire to every household in East Boston in an effort to collect important demographic data. As a citizen, you are required by law to respond to the 10 short questions. From April to July, those that haven’t completed their census will receive a visit at their home address from a census taker.
Officials said identity criminals are taking advantage of the census law and targeting unsuspecting victims in an attempt to steal sensitive information. The scams perpetrated range from fraudulent emails designed to obtain sensitive information to attempts to impersonate census collectors.
“Most citizens don’t think twice about sharing personal information with a census worker, and that’s why these scams can be very effective,” said a release by the U.S> Census Bureau. “It’s important to remember there are distinct differences between a real census worker and an identity thief posing as a census worker.”
U.S. Census workers will have identification, a handheld device and a confidentiality notice but warns these things can be easily fabricated, so it’s important to know what census workers will not do.
According to officials census workers will not:
Ask for your Social Security number or financial information, e.g. bank or credit card accounts.
Ask you for money or say that you owe money.
Harass or intimidate you.
Contact you by email, only by phone, by mail, or in person.
Police are advising residents to call the police if they encounter any persons or emails that they feel are not legitimate.
Eastie residents are reminded they can provide information anonymously to the Police Department by calling the 24 hr Crime Stoppers TIP line at 1-800-494-Tips or texting the word Chelsea and then their message to TIP to Crime (27463) from their cell phone. Anonymous web tips can also be submitted right from the Police Departments website at www.cityofboston.gov/Police/