Avoiding Fraudulent Activity and Scams

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We go to great lengths to protect your information.  Below are tips to help you.

If you suspect “phishing” or other scams, contact the Regional Office for your state or National Processing Center immediately for verification and further instructions.


Phishing is the criminal act of trying to get your information - usernames, passwords, social security numbers, and bank account or credit card account details - by pretending to be an entity you trust.  Phishing e-mails often direct you to a website that looks real, but is fake, and may be infected with malware.

Other Scams

You may be the victim of a scam if someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau asks you for certain information.  The Census Bureau never asks for:

  • your full Social Security number
  • money or donations
  • anything on behalf of a political party
  • your full bank or credit card account numbers
  • your mother’s maiden name
What you can do

Should you suspect fraudulent activity, please do the following

  • if you get mail:
    • check that it is an official letter signed by a U.S. Census Bureau director
    • if you continue to question the authenticity of the letter or form call the Regional Office for your state to verify the household survey.  For business surveys please visit our Business Help Site or contact the National Processing Center
  • if someone calls your household to complete a survey:
  • if someone visits your residence to complete a survey:
    • check first for a valid U.S. Census Bureau ID badge
    • if you are still unsure then call the Regional Office for your state to verify you are in a legitimate survey and the visitor is a Census Bureau employee
  • if you get an e-mail and think it is bogus:
    • do not reply, do not click on any links, and do not open any attachments
    • forward the e-mail or website URL to the Census Bureau at ois.fraud.reporting@census.gov
    • delete the message.  We will investigate and notify you of the findings.

Thank you for participating in an important U.S. Census Bureau survey!