Attorney General Tong, DCP Commissioner Seagull, Lt. Governor Bysiewicz Urge Residents to be Aware of Potential 2020 Census Scams
With household set to receive 2020 Census forms in mid-March, state officials urge residents to watch out of phishing and identity theft scams
(Hartford, CT) – With notices informing Americans about the need to participate in the decennial national headcount set to arrive in the mail mid-March, Attorney General William Tong, Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz are urging Connecticut residents to be aware of potential 2020 Census scams.
The U.S. Census Bureau is committed to making the 2020 Census quick, easy and safe for all citizens, but scammers may try 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.
“As residents begin to receive notices to complete the 2020 Census in mid-March, scammers may look for ways to cheat residents out of their money or steal their personal information. The Census survey will never ask for your personal information or payment in any form. It’s imperative that we make sure every resident is counted while also educating citizens on how to recognize and report a scam or instance of fraud. If you’ve been the victim of a scam, our office is here to help,” said Attorney General Tong.
“When something as important as the Census is on the mind of government officials and residents alike, scam artists try to find a way to capitalize on it,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Seagull. “We encourage consumers to stay aware, and never give away personal information to anyone that seems suspicious, even if they say they’re a government official. Remember, legitimate Census workers will always be able to produce a photo ID with the U.S. Department of Commerce seal and will never ask you for your social security number, bank or financial information, or charity donations of any kind.”
“Starting in mid-March, every household in the country will receive an invitation in the mail to respond to the 2020 Census. While we have doubled down on efforts to ensure that Connecticut is the best counted state in the country, our office has already received inquiries about potential scams. Residents must remain vigilant and be on the look-out for Census-related fraud. The Census Bureau will never send unsolicited emails requesting for your participation or ask for your social security number, political affiliation, bank account or credit card numbers,” said Lt. Governor Bysiewicz.
The 2020 U.S. Census Bureau will never ask for citizens’:
- Social Security number
- Bank account or credit card numbers
- Money or donations
The U.S. Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails requesting your participation in the 2020 Census. The bureau will also never contact a citizen on behalf of a political party.
The Census Bureau cannot share personally identifiable information with any other government agency, court of law or administrative proceeding, or private entity for any purpose.
If someone makes a home visit to collect a response for the 2020 Census, verify their identity by checking to make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.
If you still have questions about their identity, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.
Lt. Governor Bysiewicz launched Connecticut’s Complete Count Committee in February 2019 to inform and help direct the state’s effort in the upcoming 2020 Census to ensure Connecticut is the best counted state in the country.
Connecticut receives $10.7 billion in federal aid per year based on Census data. This federal aid helps to fund critical programs and services Connecticut residents depend on.
The 2020 Census will be the first time residents can fill out their Census form online. The forms can also be completed via mail or phone.
To report a scam or instance of fraud, contact the Office of the Attorney General at 860-808-5318 or file a complaint with the office at https://www.dir.ct.gov/ag/complaint, or contact the Department of Consumer Protection at 860-713-6300 or file a complaint with the department at https://ct.gov/dcp/complaint.
If you have a question about the Census or are having trouble filling out the form, call one of the below hotlines:
- Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: 888-COUNT20 (888-268-6820)
- NALEO Educational Fund: 877-EL-CENSO (877-352-3676)
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice: 844-2020-API (844-202-0274)
- Arab American Institute: 833-3DDOUNI (833-333-6864)
Office of the Attorney General
Department of Consumer Protection
Lora Rae Anderson
Office of Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz