The 2010 Census is coming up. In March, your official census forms will be delivered to your home.
But, what about those census emails that are already turning up? Most likely, they are nothing more than a new phishing scam.
The Census Bureau has said that some surveys may be delivered by email; but the actual census will not. So, while everyone receiving a census is required by law to complete and return it, be careful that the one you are returning is a true census.
The Census is not the only government document being targeted by fraudsters.
Emails asking for tax information and information to influence stimulus funds can also be bogus.
What information should you be wary of giving out?
Government entities will not ask you for your Social Security Number, passwords, PIN numbers, credit card or bank information. Another tip that will help protect you: when filling out forms, be sure to only put information in the required fields; these fields are generally marked with a star.
If you have any questions about an email that seems to have come from the Census Bureau, you can contact the Census Bureau directly. If you believe a census email is fraudulent, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With some common sense and fact-checking, you can avoid becoming a victim of identity fraud. Share these tips with your family, especially those that fraudsters consider vulnerable; young children and the elderly.