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Meridian Police warn residents about Census scams

Starting in mid-March, residents will start seeing invitations to respond to the 2020 Census.
Credit: AP
(AP Photo/John Amis, File)

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Starting in mid-March, residents will start seeing invitations to respond to the 2020 Census.

The Meridian Police Department is urging residents to take part in the in Census to make sure every person in your household is counted. But they are reminding citizens to be vigilant when providing personal information.  

Identity thieves and scammers will use the Census as an opportunity to steal personal information.

"Census scammers can contact you by phone, email, regular mail or even a home visit," said Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea, "If someone comes to your home claiming to be from the Census Bureau make sure they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date."

The U.S. Census Bureau does a national head count every ten years.  

Understanding what information the Census will not collect is a good way to protect yourself.
Genuine 2020 Census surveys and agents will never:

• Ask for your Social Security number.
• Ask for your bank, credit card or account numbers.
• Ask for money or donations.
• Ask for support for a political party.
• Ask when you leave for or return from work.
• Threaten jail time.

Officials say Census fraud can happen at home or at work. Be especially watchful for impostors from now until the end of July. That's when the Census Bureau will be sending out reminders to fill out your forms and following up in person at households that don't respond.

You can call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative if you have any questions about the identity of a Census agent.

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