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David N. Kirkman
Task Force Alert
Chair
Asst Attorney General
Consumer Protection
NC Department of
Justice
P.O. Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602
919-716-6000

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North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

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Senior Fraud Alert: Census Scams

******Alert #239 ******

Government officials are warning consumers to be wary of marketers and scam artists who would use this year’s Census as a cover for their efforts. Members of the Task Force already have expressed concerns that companies and political groups are using the word “Census” in their mailings and pitches in order to generate donations, purchases or interest in their causes. Others in the Task Force have warned of possible attempts to commit identity theft or to gain entry into seniors’ homes for purposes of distraction theft.

The Attorney General recently issued the following tips for recognizing official census takers and avoiding phony census schemes:

Learn how to avoid Census scams

Starting in March, the U.S. Census Bureau began reaching out to every household in the U.S. to gather information for the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau will contact U.S. citizens by mail, phone and in person to gather information.

Unfortunately, scam artists may pretend to be with the Census to try to steal your financial information. To protect yourself from fraud, here are some important things to know:

  • Legitimate Census workers will NEVER ask you for your Social Security Number, credit card number or bank account information
  • Census employees cannot ask you for money, or tell you that you owe the government money (even if you do).
  • Information for the Census will not be collected through email or on the Internet. Report bogus Census emails or websites to itso.fraud.reporting@census.gov.
  • Any census worker who comes to your door will have a badge, a handheld device or computer, and an official Census Bureau canvas bag. You should always ask to see the badge if it isn’t already visible.

If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam related to the Census, please call Attorney General Roy Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division for assistance at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. For more information on how to protect yourself from scams, visit us at www.ncdoj.gov.

The federal government issued a similar warning on Friday. It can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/04/census-scam.shtm

******End of Alert******

Date: April 6, 2010

 

 

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