By law, the census bureau cannot share your answers with anyone, not even another government agency.
The data is used to figure out budgets and how many seats each state gets in the US House of Representatives. While the gathering of this information is safe the thieves could try to scam you.
BBB offers the following tips to avoid government phishing scams:
- If something sounds suspicious, confirm it by calling the government agency directly or checking the government agency`s website. Don`t click on links in an unexpected email - type the official URL into your browser or do a web search to find the right website. Call a trusted phone number other than one provided by the caller to verify the caller`s identity. The official website of the Census Bureau is census.gov; the homepage for the 2020 Census is 2020census.gov.
- Don`t click, download, or open anything that comes from an anonymous sender. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your computer.
- Be cautious of generic emails. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake emails. Always be wary of unsolicited messages that don't contain your name, last digits of your account number or other personalizing information.
Report a scam to BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker.