Monday, September 28, 2009

Warning....2010 Census

The Mom Squad isn't telling you not to participate in the census. We do want you to be careful about fraud and misuse.

According to the Constitution you are not required to give a census worker more than general information. You only have to give your name, address and how many people are in your house. If you don't feel comfortable with other information you "may" be able to refrain. Check with your local representative or attorney.

I have my own concerns about anyone having information like my religious preference, financial details, what time I leave for work and when I'll be home and other personal information that if stolen could be used to cause harm. I received the following e-mail and I believe it's good to begin thinking about your responses to anyone wanting to know more about your household than necessary.

2010 Census Cautions

Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers. With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country.

Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data. The big question is - How do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a Con Artist?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers the following advice:

If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have the following:

1. a badge

2. a hand held device

3. a Census Bureau canvas bag

4. a confidentiality notice.

Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don't know into your home. Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information.

Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, it will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers nor will employees solicit donations.

Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, they will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that is supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.

TO RECAP – HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF – FOLLOW THESE RULES!!!!
1. Census workers will carry a badge, a hand held device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. MAKE SURE TO ASK THEM FOR THEIR BADGE AND IDENTIFICATION BEFORE TALKING TO THEM!

2. Census workers will NOT ask for Social Security numbers, Bank Account Numbers, Credit Card Numbers, or any specific account information!

3. Census workers will NOT solicit for donations – do not give anyone any money!

4. Census Workers will NOT contact you by email – do not respond to anyone claiming to be with the US Census by email!
5. Don't invite them into your homes!!

Be safe!

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