Scam Watch: The Census Bureau is Knocking

May 04, 2010
How do you know if the person knocking on your door is a legitimate Census taker and not a scam artist posing as one?  It’s simple; Look for an identification badge, a canvas census bag, and a confidentiality notice.  You will not be contacted by a Census taker through email and they do not ask for your social security number, donations, credit card numbers, or ask for information that is not on the Census survey form.  Census takers are also trained not to ask to enter your home.  

Providing your household’s information to the US Census Bureau is a requirement for all U.S. residents every ten years.  The information collected helps the US allocate over $400 billion in federal funding each year to provide communities with schools, hospitals, emergency services, job training centers, and more.    

With the mail-in phase of the census survey complete, the Census Bureau has moved into Phase 2: Door-to-Door Surveys.  Census takers are people from your community who want to ensure your community receives its fair share and representation through an accurate count.  On May 1st, they began knocking on doors to collect information from households that failed to return their census form.   If they stop by your home when you’re out you’ll find a door hanger indicating they missed you. Census takers will attempt six visits to your home before moving on, but it may speed things along to call the number on the door hanger to schedule the visit.  

If you are suspicious of someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau, contact Arizona’s regional Census office at 1-800-852-6159.  For the latest scam alerts visit