2020 Census Bureau says to be on alert for frauds, scams

With less than two months before the Sept. 30 deadline for the 2020 Census, local officials say...
With less than two months before the Sept. 30 deadline for the 2020 Census, local officials say Richmond, Petersburg and Hopewell are on track to miss out on millions of dollars in funding for roads, education and healthcare because enough people aren’t filling out the questionnaire.(NBC12)
Updated: Sep. 11, 2020 at 12:23 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Even if you’ve filled out your U.S. Census application, the 2020 Census Bureau says there is a chance you may be receiving another knock on your door or phone call from a U.S. Census taker to make sure that the people in your home were counted accurately as part of the Bureau’s quality assurance program.

During these secondary visits, census takers may follow up to confirm addresses or to conduct a short interview for quality assurance purposes, but the Bureau says there are those who are using this opportunity to prey on unsuspecting people.

The Bureau says a legitimate census taker will never ask for the personal information like:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your bank account or credit card numbers
  • Anything on behalf of a political party
  • Money or donations

The bureau says anyone claiming to be a census taker who asks for this information over the phone or in-person is likely fraudulent.

A legitimate census taker’s identity can be verified by checking to see if they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date.

If you suspect fraud, the bureau asks that you call a Census Bureau representative at 844-330-2020. If it is determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department.

Currently, 82.4% of the nation has responded to the census. Virginia has an overall response rate of 90.4%, but those numbers aren’t as impressive when you take a closer look at localities with low response rates like Richmond, which has a response rate of 60.7%, and Petersburg which has a response rate of 49.2%. Chesterfield and Henrico County have response rates hovering around 75% overall, while Hanover County is among the top localities with a total response rate of 80.6%.

For those who have yet to respond, census-takers going door-to-door leave a notice of their visit. Homeowners can respond online or by phone using the census ID provided on the notice. This ID links your address to your response and ensures you are counted in the right place.

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