Starting this month, U.S. Census Bureau employees are knocking on doors to ensure the bureau has a complete list of addresses of where residents live. These addresses determine where the bureau will mail instructions and send the next major deployment of workers in 2020 for the headcount of every resident within the household.
The Census Bureau employee will show their official government ID badge and explain the purpose of the visit. Residents may also ask the Census Bureau employee for a picture ID from another source to confirm their identity.
Census data is used to determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress and how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.
How to verify a Census Bureau employee
If you are visited by a Census Bureau employee, below are some ways to verify the individual.
- The field representative will present an ID badge that includes:
- their name,
- their photograph
- a Department of Commerce watermark, and
- an expiration date.
- A field representative will carry an official bag with the Census Bureau logo or a laptop for conducting the survey.
- The field representative will provide you with a letter from the Census Bureau on official letterhead stating why they are visiting your residence.
- Field representatives conduct their work between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., local time.
- Upon request, the field representative will provide you with their supervisor’s contact information and/or the phone for the Census Bureau Regional office.
You may be the victim of a scam if someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau asks you for certain information. The Census Bureau never asks for:
- your full Social Security number
- money or donations
- anything on behalf of a political party
- your full bank or credit card account numbers
- your mother’s maiden name
If you get a phone call, letter or in-person visitor purporting to be from the Census Bureau, and you want to verify its authenticity, the Census Bureau advises you can look up their name in the Census Bureau Staff Search, or contact the Regional Office.
If you can't call to verify because your “Census” worker called or visited you after office hours – that alone suggests it's a scam. Real Census Bureau employees won't get angry when you want to verify their identities before answering their questions – and real Census Bureau employees won't threaten to arrest you, either.
Read the press release about the first field operation for the 2020 Census.