Census calls: Real or just a scam?

Posted at 4:17 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 18:13:17-04

By now, you hopefully know that if the IRS calls, it's almost always a scam call.

But now, some homeowners are getting calls from the Census… or are they?

The Census was supposed to be the big story of 2020 - until COVID-19.

But the Census Bureau is now ramping up again, which means you may get a call.

But is it really the Census?

Amy Cheney's cellphone rang the other day.

"When I get a call on my cellphone and it's not a recognized number, I don't answer it,” Cheney said.

Especially since there was no identifying name.

But it called again… and a third time. Finally, Cheney answered and was told it was the U.S. Census Bureau.

She was suspicious.

"I know from your reports and lots of other places that the IRS does not call people and Social Security does not call people, and I thought, ‘Why would the Census Bureau be calling me?’”

Normally if you don't respond to the Census mailing – and you should have received about three of them by now - the Bureau will send a Census taker to your front door. But in this year of COVID, they are turning to phones instead.

"He explained that because of COVID-19, they are not able to do their door-to-door canvassing they normally do, and so they are making phone calls to people to follow up on information."

But how do you know if it is real?

  • A legitimate Census caller will tell you to go to the Census website.
  • There, you will find the exact number they are calling from.
  • They will also never ask for your Social Security number or a credit card.

At that point, go ahead and answer their questions, even if…

"It felt weird to have a government agency making a phone call to me."

However, the Census Bureau is now hiring workers again, which means you may get a visit at your door this summer if you didn't answer the forms or their call.

As always, don’t waste your money.


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