How to identify and report scams pretending to be from the U.S. Census bureau

U.S. Census Bureau does not send email
about participating in 2010 Census

DEARBORN – Police Chief Ron Haddad encourages residents to be vigilant in guarding against possible scams using the U.S. Census as a cover.

Residents who are unsure if they are being contacted by the U.S. Census or a scammer can call the Dearborn Police Department at (313) 943-3030.

Although the U.S. Census Bureau cannot stop or warn against all bogus or false collections of data, the following tips can be used to help identify fraudulent activity.

• The Census Bureau does not conduct the 2010 Census via the Internet.

• The Census Bureau does not send e-mails about participating in the 2010 Census.

• The Census Bureau never asks for Social Security number, asks for money or a donation, sends requests on behalf of a political party or requests PIN codes, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.

Phishing: Online scams
Internet users also should be cautious to avoid falling prey to “phishing” scams.

Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail and it often directs users to enter sensitive information at a fake Web site whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.

Anyone contacted through the Internet or e-mail by someone claiming to represent the 2010 Census, are advised not to respond to the message, as it is not from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Call the Detroit Regional Census Office at (800) 432-1495.

How to identify and report scams and bogus census Web sites
In person scam: Check for a valid U.S. Census Bureau identification badge and ask to compare that badge to the person’s driver’s license or other government-issued photo identification.

E-mail scam: If an e-mail is thought to be bogus, do not reply or click on any links or attachments within the e-mail. Forward the e-mail or Web site URL to the Census Bureau at ITSO.Fraud.Reporting@census.gov.

After forwarding the-mail, delete the message. The Census Bureau will not send a confirmation email after forwarding the information; however, the Bureau will investigate the information and notify the swender of its findings.

Mail scam: Contact the United States Postal Inspection Service at: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/MailFraud/MailFraud.aspx.

The information in this article was provided by the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center for Homeland Security (MIOC).

Tags: