I’ve read several news reports recently about scams in which someone poses as a representative of the U.S. Census Bureau and asks for money or personal and financial information. The scammers may attempt to dupe their victims via e-mailed questionnaires or by visiting in person.
These ploys often target older Americans. As someone who works in senior care, I want to offer some advice to help you, a family member or a person you take care of avoid being victimized by a con artist. This information comes from the AARP and the U.S. Census Bureau:
· Census workers do not ask for personal or financial information such as your Social Security, bank account or credit card number. Never give out this information.
· Any e-mail you receive claiming to be from the U.S. Census Bureau is fake. The 2010 Census is not being conducted by e-mail.
· Census workers never solicit donations or ask for money. Phony census takers have asked for charitable donations and have even claimed to be short on gas money. Don’t buy into it.
· You can verify whether you’re being visited by an official census taker by calling the Regional Census Center in Denver at 303-264-0202.
The 2010 Census is an important study that will help determine how we are represented in government, how lawmakers distribute funding for important services, and how our country and community are changing. It’s good to cooperate, but it’s also good to take caution. Trust your gut and protect your personal information.
John A. Torres
Golden West “Senior Living in Boulder”