St. Louis, Mo., March 16, 2010 – With U.S. Census forms hitting mailboxes, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising consumers to comply with the government’s request for information, while verifying the identity of anyone asking for information by phone, by e-mail or in person.
“Most people are rightfully cautious about giving personal information to unsolicited phone callers or visitors,” said Michelle L. Corey, president and CEO of the BBB in St. Louis. “A response to the Census is required – and it assures that your community gets its share of resources and representation in Congress.”
Census forms were mailed this month. In areas where mail delivery is difficult or nonexistent, Census workers are going door-to-door.
Five good reasons to fill out Census forms are:
Census workers will never ask you for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers. They do not solicit donations, and the Census Bureau will not contact you by e-mail.
The Census Bureau is required to provide forms to each of 130 million household addresses and obtain a response from the residents. In April, Census Bureau employees will begin knocking on doors of those who do not mail back completed forms. Census Bureau employees carry identification that includes:
Door-to-door canvassing of households will conclude in July. Official Census Bureau information is at www.census.gov/2010census.
The BBB is alerting consumers to an e-mail that falsely claims to be from the BBB, which gives inaccurate information about the Census.
“Unfortunately, scammers may pose as government employees and solicit sensitive financial information,” Corey said. “The Census itself is safe.”
For more advice on avoiding identity theft and fraud, visit the BBB at www.bbb.org or call 314-645-3300.
Contacts: Michelle Corey, President & CEO, 314-645-3300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Thetford, Director of Communications, 314-645-3300, email@example.com