Email: "IMPORTANT Warning RE: Census workers"
The following email has been widely forwarded. Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below. Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.
"IMPORTANT Warning RE: Census workers"
[note - all mistakes below are original to text of email]
Subject: FW: IMPORTANT Warning RE: Census workers
Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 09:50:05 -0500
Never give your SS# or bank account # to anyone....
You never know what will happen with ACORN folks involved.
Spread this around......
Some very good information below.
Short quick read.
This information is being distributed by the Dallas / Ft. Worth IBM Organization to warn it's thousands of members of fraud associated with the 2010 Census (some pre-census activity is already underway). However, this warning is for ALL citizens, so you may want to pass it on to everyone you know.
2010 Census Cautions
by Susan Johnson - August 3, 2009 12:07 pm
Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers
With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data. The big question is - how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers the following advice:
** If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice.
Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions.
Never invite anyone you don't know into your home.
** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, it will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations.
Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, they will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census.
Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.
For more advice on avoiding identity theft and fraud, visit www.bbb.
(It is also good advice not to give them any information other than how many people live at your residence and the last name. You don't even have to give income information. Just say that's confidential.)
Thanks for forwarding the email. I can hardly believe it's 2010 already. Gee, time really does fly!!!
Fraud is a very serious issue and I really like the fact that the Better Business Bureau is concerned with spreading awareness of it. The advice Susan Johnson gives here is pertinent and timely. When you hear about the recent arrest of a Miami man who allegedly had stolen more than 130 million credit card numbers, there is an obvious reason to be cautious about our personal information being out there. These tips are invaluable and should be heeded in all instances.
I looked up some information on ACORN and their involvement with the 2010 Census and I am happy to let you know that ACORN will not be conducting the Census, nor providing workers for the Census.
Since the Census is so important and helps to determine how federal funds are distributed, how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives and provides important information to businesses, who use the data so that they can better market their goods and services, it is important that the Census is as accurate as possible.
The Commerce Department, which is responsible for the Census has partnered
with more than 30,000 partners who will be promoting the Census and making sure
that people know about it. ACORN is a
partner organization. Other partner organizations include FedEx, the Self
Reliance Foundation, Catholic Charities USA and General Mills, you know, the
Again, thank you for the email.