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Watch For Scams Newsletter. 2010 Census Scams
April 13, 2010
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2010 Census Scams

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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2010 Census Scams

The 2010 Census is underway and you may be wondering about whom you can trust. The Census is easy, important, and safe ó just fill out your form and mail it back.

The IC3 and the Better Business Bureau [BBB], a 2010 Census partner, are encouraging participation in the 2010 Census while cautioning people to get the facts:

1. 2010 Census takers will never contact you by e-mail or solicit for donations

2. Do not respond to unsolicited [spam] e-mail or text messages; including clicking on links and/or opening attachments contained within

3. Criminals often capitalize on legitimate campaigns to spread computer viruses through e-mails, text messages, "pop-ups," fraudulent Web sites, or infected legitimate Web sites. The viruses are embedded in an attachment [including pictures], link, and/or computer application. This also applies to tactics used in social networking sites. Remember, not all anti-virus software detects every virus, especially if the virus is newly created. Visit 2010.census.gov for official information on the 2010 Census

4. Beware of groups using a similar name to a reputable agency, especially through Web sites. Rather than following a link to the Web site, log on

directly to the official Web site for the business identified in the e-mail and/or text. Web sites can be verified by utilizing various Internet-based resources to confirm their status and to obtain feedback

5. 2010 Census takers will not ask you for your Personally Identifiable Information such as your social security account number [SSAN], driver's license number, bank account number, or credit card number

6. Do not provide this type of information to anyone claiming to be a 2010 Census taker

7. Please be aware, the Census Bureau does ask for the last four digits of the respondent's SSAN for one survey: the National Health Interview Survey.

8. Do not respond to work-at-home opportunities to be a Census taker, especially if the offer is unsolicited and it occurs through e-mail, text, or other indirect means. However, the Census Bureau may contact, in person, trusted third-party stakeholders, such as schools, media, businesses, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, state, local, and tribal governments to spread the recruiting message. Criminals often use work-at-home scams to commit identity theft by collecting individuals' PII such as their bank account information, SSAN, and driverís license number

9. Be wary if someone claiming to be a Census Bureau representative attempts to sign you up as a new employee on the spot. The Census Bureau has a hiring process, which includes taking a test in person, not on-line. To learn more information on what is required to become a census taker, visit http://www.bbb.org/us/article/out-of-work-the-us-census-bureau-is-hiring-nationwide-14365

If you have information pertaining to a 2010 Census scheme, please file a complaint with the www.IC3.gov and contact your local BBB along with your local law enforcement agency.

Remember - always watch for scams!

Steve

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