In March 2010, census forms will be delivered to every residence in the United States and Puerto Rico. Publicity for this effort kicked off Jan. 4, with the 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour throughout each of the U.S. Census Bureau's 12 regions.
If you don't mail the form back by April 1, you may receive a visit from a census taker between then and the end of July, who will ask you ONLY the questions that appear on the census form.
We expect scammers to take advantage of this nationwide effort to attempt to gain access to sensitive information, so please exercise caution and remember the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft:
• The Census Bureau provides each census taker with a binder containing all of the addresses in your area that didn't send back a filled out census form.
• If a Census Taker comes to your home, ask to see their identification and badge before answering any questions; Census takers will have a badge, handheld device, Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice.
• Census Takers are instructed not to ask to enter your home.
• Do not provide your Social Security number, credit card or banking information, even if asked; anyone asking for such information is not with the Census Bureau.
•If you are not home, a census taker will return up to three times, each time leaving a door hanger featuring a phone number you can call to schedule the visit.
• While Census workers may try to contact you via follow-up phone call, mail or in person, the bureau will not contact you via email, so be on the lookout for scam emails purporting to be from the bureau.
• If you receive such an email, don't click on any embedded link or open any attachment, instead, delete it immediately.