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2020 Census Fraud Detection and Census Scams

Last Update: 2/11/2020

The decennial Census is the largest single non-defense activity conducted by the Federal Government. The Census Bureau provides resources and information to identify legitimate census data collection efforts and avoid census scams.
The links below highlight ways to identify census scams and to protect your personal information.

Census Resilency Plans and Data Protection

The Census Bureau is developing plans to kee your Census responses safe. See this report from the Census Bureau.

Cybersecurity and the U.S. Census

Article from Governing Magazine Will We Be Able to Secure and Protect the 2020 Census?

Types of Census Rumors

Keep track of rumors about the Census and its implementation. Fighting Census Rumors

Avoiding Phishing Scams Online

Phishing is a criminal act in which someone tries to get your information by pretending to be an entity that you trust. Phishing emails often direct you to a website that looks real but is fake—and may be infected with malware.

It is important to know that the Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation in the 2020 Census. Further, during the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask for:

In addition, the Census Bureau will not contact you on behalf of a political party.

See Verify a Census Bureau Survey, Mailing, or Contact

Staying Safe at Home

If you are visited by someone from the Census Bureau, here are some ways to verify the individual is a Census Bureau employee:

The field representative will present an ID badge that includes:

A field representative will be carrying an official bag with the Census Bureau logo or a laptop for conducting the survey.

The field representative will provide you with a letter from the Census Bureau on official letterhead stating why they are visiting your residence. Field representatives conduct their work between the hours of 9am and 9pm, local time. Upon request, the field representative will provide you with their supervisor’s contact information and/or the phone number for your Census Bureau Regional Office. The Regional Office supervises the activities of all field representatives in your area.

See How to Identify a Census Employee?

If you still have questions about their identity, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

Reporting Suspected Fraud

If you suspect fraud, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a Census Bureau representative. If it is determined that the visitor does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department.

How the Census Bureau Protects Your Data

The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. In fact, every employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.

See How the Census Bureau protects your data.

Known Census Scams

The list below identifies census scams the State Demography Office is aware of. Please help us keep this list updated.

Please contact Adam Bickford at if you encounter a Census Scam.