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Press Releases

03/26/2020

Attorney General Tong Lt Gov Bysiewicz and DCP Commissioner Seagull Warn Residents of Scam Connecting  2020 Census to Future Coronavirus Census Checks

Thursday, March 26th, 2020 - Attorney General William Tong, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, and Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull are urging residents to be aware of scams connecting the 2020 Census responses to potential future stimulus checks for Americans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents should be wary of fraudulent emails, text messages and social media posts falsely claiming that Americans must respond to the 2020 Census in order to receive a stimulus check from the federal government. In some cases, scammers may urge users to visit a fake Census website and sign up to receive a stimulus check from the U.S. government, along with other false claims.

“Bad actors are always looking for ways to profit off of people’s fears and anxieties. This new scam is no different. There is zero connection between your 2020 Census response and any economic stimulus aid. If you receive any text messages, phone calls or emails falsely claiming this, please report this to my office immediately,” said Attorney General Tong.

“We all have a role to play to stop the spread of false information, especially in this time of global crisis,” Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said. “I encourage anyone who received or forwarded the false information in this message to immediately send a correction letting people know that the 2020 Census does not impact an individual’s eligibility for government benefits, including any potential stimulus package.”

"You will not have to fill out the Census to receive a stimulus check," said Consumer Protection Commissioner Seagull. "Scammers often try to take advantage of us when we have something incredibly serious on our minds  and in this situation they're using two critical things, the Census and COVID-19. Remember, that if someone threatens to take away money or benefits unless you surrender personal information  it's likely a scam."

The Senate voted Wednesday to pass a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that would send direct payments and jobless benefits to individuals, as well as money to states and businesses harmed by the pandemic.A vote in the House is expected shortly.

Responses to the 2020 Census form are not tied to a plan for the federal government to mail checks directly to American households and cannot be used to impact eligibility for any government benefits.

Federal law prevents the U.S. Census Bureau from sharing personally identifiable information with any other government agency, court of law or administrative proceeding, or private entity for any purpose.

Residents should also be wary of scammers trying to impersonate Census workers by knocking on doors, sending emails, text messages, or regular mail, or even developing fraudulent websites to steal money and personal information.

The 2020 U.S. Census Bureau will never ask for citizens’ social security number, bank account or credit card numbers, or money or donations. The U.S. Census Bureau will also never send unsolicited emails requesting your participation in the 2020 Census.

 

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Media Contacts:

 

Office of the Attorney General
Elizabeth Benton
elizabeth.benton@ct.gov
860-214-0937 (cell)

 

Department of Consumer Protection
Lora Rae Anderson
lorarae.anderson@ct.gov
(860) 247-8711 (cell)

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