Avoiding Census Fraud and Scams

How to Identify a Census Taker:

In August and September 2020, enumerators (census takers) will make in-person visits to households in the Bay Area that have not yet completed the census. Census Takers:

  • take a life-long oath of confidentiality and can be fined or imprisoned for sharing anyone’s personal census information;
  • will not ask for financial information, your driver's license, social security number or solicit money or donations;
  • work during the week, as well as evenings and weekends;
  • will be wearing masks/face covering and practicing social distancing.

If someone visits your home to collect a response for the 2020 Census, you can do the following to verify their identity:

First, check to make sure that they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.

If you still have questions about their identity, you can call 213-314-6500 or 844-330-2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

NEW! Emails from the Census Bureau:

In August, the US Census Bureau announced that it will be sending emails to remind people to respond to Census 2020. The emails will go to ALL households (that the Census Bureau has contact information for) in census blocks that have self-response rate of lower than 50%. This means than some households which have already responded may receive the email. The email message will come from "2020census" @ subscriptions.census.gov.

How to verify a mailing is from the Census Bureau:

Households will receive an invitation in the mail to complete the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.

  • The return address will be “U.S. Census Bureau” or “U.S. Department of Commerce” in Jeffersonville, IN.
  • If a paper questionnaire is included, the enclosed envelope to mail it back will be addressed to Jeffersonville, IN, or Phoenix, AZ.

Read more on the Census Bureau’s website.

Telephone Calls from the Census Bureau:

After you have responded to the 2020 Census, you may receive a follow-up phone call from the Census Bureau to ensure a complete and accurate count for the 2020 Census.

The Census Bureau contacts a small sample of households who have completed the Census as part of their quality control process. The purpose of these calls is to ensure that no person is left out of the Census or counted in more than one place. Any phone call you receive will be brief, and all responses are kept confidential. The 2020 Census caller will not ask about your financial information or Social Security number. They will only be reviewing the responses to the 2020 Census that you previously provided.

Reporting Suspected Fraud

If you suspect fraud, call 844-330-2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative. Or, to contact someone locally, you can also inform Alameda County Complete Count Committee via email.