Pennsylvania Officials Warn of Potential 2020 Census Scams
Harrisburg, PA – Today after news emerged that documents misleadingly labeled as official Census forms are being mailed to Pennsylvanians, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin reminded Pennsylvania residents to be cognizant and aware of potential 2020 Census scams and confusion.
“An accurate Census is a fair Census and using the 2020 Census as a way to confuse and scam residents of the commonwealth is unacceptable,” said Sec. Davin. “The real Census questionnaire is short and clear, so we encourage any Pennsylvania resident who receives a questionable document in the mail to contact their local Census hub, which is the most reliable resource for clarification, with any doubts, questions, or concerns.”
The United States Constitution requires a Census count once every 10 years and counts every person living in the United States once and only once. The results of the 2020 Census will help provide fair representation when determining congressional districts, policy, decision-making, and distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding that impacts the daily lives of Pennsylvanians over the next 10 years.
Pennsylvanians can respond to the 2020 Census by mail or online. Census Day is April 1, 2020, and as that day gets closer, the possibility of scams is increasing. Since the 2020 Census will be collecting basic information about the people living in your household, there are a few things you should remember to avoid falling victim to a scam.
Do not respond if you are asked for your social security number (SSN), bank or credit card information, your mother’s maiden name, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. The U.S. Census Bureau will never ask for this information. If someone claiming to be from the U.S. Census Bureau contacts you via email, phone, or in-person and asks for any of this information, it is a scam.
Below are helpful tips to protect Pennsylvanians during the 2020 Census collection period:
- If you receive a survey or letter in the mail, check that the return address is from Jeffersonville, Indiana.
- If you receive a phone call, you can call the U.S. Census Bureau at 1-800-923-8282 to verify whether the caller is an employee.
- If you receive an email or are sent a URL to respond to the census, make sure the website address begins with “HTTPS” and includes a lock symbol. If you receive a suspicious email or URL, do not reply, click links, or open attachments. Forward the email to the U.S. Census Bureau at email@example.com and then delete it. The U.S. Census Bureau will investigate and report their findings to you.
- If you’re visited by a census worker, ask to see their identification. They should have an official identification badge with their photo, U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. If you have questions about their identity, you can call 1-800-923-8282 to speak to a local U.S. Census Bureau representative.
J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717.783.1116
Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132