What to Watch for in Census Scams

Thursday, March 25th 2010, 3:14 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Local Census officials said many Oklahomans have already reported receiving fake Census forms and numerous more will likely receive one. Now officials are sharing exactly what citizens should be looking out for.

A manager with the local census said many of the people victimized from scams have been the elderly. As of Thursday, there were 50 actual reports of fake forms.

The Census Bureau has not been able to obtain a copy of the fake form because those who have reported it said they've filled it out and sent it back. The scammers have hit cities across the state, but they concentrate on the smaller communities where Census forms are hand-delivered, including Seminole, Harrah, Lexington, Chickasha, Choctaw, Guthrie, Edmond, Blanchard, Tuttle and Newcastle.

The scam artists are reportedly leaving the fake form on the door or conducting the questionnaire in-person.

"They're collecting people's social security number, and in some cases the forms being circulated are asking for a signature as well," said Sidna Madden, Oklahoma Census Office Manager.

Madden said real forms will not ask you for either.

While there have been reports of both males and females posing as Census workers, several reports stated there have been two men who have come to a home. Some wear a Census T-shirt, but citizens should note that only real Census workers wear badges and are likely carrying an official Census tote.

The returned address on many of the fake envelope seemed to be going to an Oklahoma City address.

Scam forms have been reported as black and white, while the real ones are light blue and have a white border.

If you have any questions, call the main local Census office number for the public at 405-254-9120.

Quick Tips, Census workers will:
• NOT ask for your social security number, bank account number or credit card number.
• NOT ask any information about your taxes or income.
• NEVER solicit donations or contact you by e-mail.
• ONLY ask you the questions listed on the Census questionnaire.

2010 Census Web site
2010 Census Web site in Spanish
2010 Census Jobs
2010 Census How It Works
2010 Census Why It's Important
2010 Census Privacy & Confidentiality