Avoid falling victim to impostor Census takers

Avoid falling victim to impostor Census takers
census document form and ball point ink pen on American flag for 2020 (Source: liveslow)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Information gathering for the 2020 Census has begun and officials are offering a few tips to protect your information from potential impostors.

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office is warning people to remain vigilant and to verify Census takers' identities before disclosing any personal information.

“Census data gathering is important for our community in terms of information and funding,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. “But, we don’t want impostors taking advantage of our residents. There are some simple steps that can be taken to confirm a representative’s identity.”

If you are visited by someone from the U.S. Census Bureau, here are some tips to assure the validity of the field representative:

  • Census takers must present an ID badge that includes a photograph of the field representative, a Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
  • Note that census workers may be carrying a Census Bureau phone or a laptop as well as a bag with a Census Bureau logo.
  • 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 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., 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.
  • If you still have questions, call 800-424-6974 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.

The best way to avoid being visited at home is to fill out your 2020 Census online, by phone or by mail. Households will receive an invitation to begin participating in the census by April 1, 2020. This is the first year that the census is available online.

If you wish to independently confirm that the person at your door is a Census Bureau employee, you can enter their name in the Census Bureau’s staff search website or contact the Regional Office for your state.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.