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2020 Census: Visiting homes and sending emails

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The Federal Trade Commission is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to help you guard against potential census scams. Knowing how the 2020 Census process works, what information you will — and won’t — be asked for, and some red flags will help you spot and report scams.

The Process

The 2020 Census began in March. By now, most households have responded. For those who haven’t, census takers will begin visiting homes to help complete the count. If you’re not home or can’t come to the door, a census taker will leave a notice with information about how to respond online or by phone.

Due to the COVID pandemic, census takers will be wearing masks and following local public health guidelines when they visit you. They will ask a few questions and submit your answers on a secure Census Bureau phone.

The Questions

The census questionnaire asks how many people were living in the home on April 1, 2020; their sex, age, race, ethnicity; their relationships to one another; phone number; and whether you own or rent the home. For the full list of questions on the 2020 Census, visit Questions Asked.

Signs of a Scam

Scammers may pose as census takers to get your personal information — and then use it to commit identity theft and other frauds. But there are ways you can identify official census takers.

Census takers must show a photo ID with the U.S. Department of Commerce seal and an expiration date. If you ask, the census taker will give you a supervisor’s contact information and/or the regional census enter phone number for verification.

The Census Bureau will never ask for your full Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. The 2020 Census will not ask citizenship status.

The Census Bureau may call or email you as part of their follow-up and quality control efforts. They also might call if you’re not home when a census taker stops by, or when a personal visit is not convenient. Calls will come from one of the Census Bureau’s contact centers or from a field representative. Since we all know you can’t trust caller ID, visit How to identify a phone call from the Census Bureau for the phone numbers you can use to check out any calls you might get. Email messages from 2020census@subscriptions.census.gov will alert households in low-response areas that the 2020 Census is coming to a close, and ask that people respond online at 2020census.gov. If you get one of these messages, you can opt out of getting future messages.

Make sure you have the latest and most accurate information about the 2020 Census. Visit 2020 Census Rumors to fact-check and ask questions.

If you suspect fraud, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. You also can file a report with the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. Your reports may help law enforcement agencies launch investigations that could stop imposters and other fraudsters in their tracks.

Want information on the latest frauds and scams we’re seeing? Sign up for our consumer alerts.

Updated August 19, 2020 with new information about how the U.S. Census Bureau will reach out to people who have not responded to the 2020 Census.

Comments

are Census workers allowed to walk around your property???
i see on my ring doorbell someone opening my gate and walking around my property? when she did finally approach the door i asked her why...she responded, legally i am allowed to...

I tried to complain about the repeated unnecessary visits by census workers after doing the census before April 1st and answering all their questions. Kept getting put in circles among all these numbers. Central Coast California is our location. Census workers seem to be wasting time by re-visiting.
1-844-330-2020 Main #, Generic, transferred me to:
1-800-923-8282 Main #, Generic, transferred me to:
1-213-314-6500 State office transferred me to:
1-408-961-0635 San Jose Regional Office, transferred me back to step 1 after calling twice to explain to them that I was being sent in circles.

I think it would be safer and more effective for your census workers if you would provide them with better signage or at least a decal for their vehicles. Residents would feel better with that than an unmarked personal vehicle driving down private driveways.

I completed the census in March, and I did not have an Census ID at the time.
I received a Notice of Visit yesterday while I was at work: Why did someone stop by if I filled out the Census 6 months ago?

this should of been easy but they want more.

Listen, the slew of Harassment that I have endured from Census takers since moving to my new address, one month this week is just incredible! I filled out the census online in May 2020, but that's not enough? The Census Bureau needs to get it's act together.

I answered the Census online when I first received it. Then in July a lady came to my house and I answered all her questions. Then another lady came to my house and again I answered all her questions for the 3rd time and I even told her this was the 3rd time. Just now a man came to the house asking me to do it again. I am getting really annoyed with this. Is there a way to keep them from coming again and again. This is ridiculous. I am trying to not be rude to these workers but they are trying to make a living but seriously, leave me alone already.

This is getting ridiculous, I spent 30 minutes with a Census representative answering all the questions needed. Since then I have had 6 more representatives show up at my home. When I called I was told there is no way to update the system that my house has already been completed.

In two days THREE census people have shown up at our house. It’s becoming more like harassment! Everything was completed online and four people in a two weeks have been knocking on our door. So over this!

I’m a census worker. When residents tell me they already completed their census form, I ask whether it’s for the CURRENT address. Some people move after Census Day (April 1, 2020) and might have completed it for the PREVIOUS address. We are required to get info on residents as of Census Day, if known.

I did our census in April online. I have had 7 different groups of census people show up at my door this past month to try to get me to do it again. I gave them my confirmation number from doing it online and they are still showing up. It is SO annoying and I totally feel harassed by it. It needs to end.

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