The 2010 Census a Perfect Opportunity for Crooks

HiResTalk about the 2010 Census has a lot of people riled up. Some Internet rabble-rousers have been declaring that this census is the longest and most intrusive of any we’ve ever had – and instructing people to shut the door in census takers faces.

The truth of the matter is this year’s census asks only 10 questions. These are basic questions about population and they do not ask for your financial information nor your Social Security number.

Despite the truth, the news articles and hype surrounding this census have many citizens believing that they will be asked for personal information. And some – especially senior citizens – will feel it their patriotic duty to answer those questions.

And that is where the fraudsters see their opportunity. These crooks, bent on both identity theft and cash theft are posing as legitimate census takers and collecting information and cash from unwitting citizens.

You could be contacted in person, by phone, by postal mail, or by e-mail.

Be aware that there are no official emails going out from the Census Bureau. Anything you get that claims to be from the Census Bureau is an attempt at identity theft.

But that doesn’t stop these crooks from trying. Since bogus email senders can strike and be gone quickly, they aren’t afraid to contact hundreds of thousands of citizens in an attempt to gain information.

Generally, these e-mails say you didn’t fill out the form correctly, then ask for your bank account information, your Social Security number, or even your computer user name and password. (It takes a lot of nerve to ask for that!)

You could also receive a bogus form in the mail. If it asks for personal financial information it’s a fraud… toss it!

If they call on the phone and ask for such information they’re also crooks, even though their caller ID may be set to read “US Census.” Just remember, a legitimate census worker will not ask for your financial information.

Census takers could also show up at the door, and they may ask for personal information or for money – which is illegal. Get their ID and name and report them.

These could be actual paid census takers who have seen the opportunity to make some money on the side. The Census Bureau does screen employees, but they now know that a few identity thieves who have no criminal record are now operating under the protection of their Census Taker status.

Be careful. Don’t give out personal information – ever.

Author: Marte Cliff your resource for ground breaking Credit News.

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