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Census Will Not Be Taken Yet!Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009, at 11:29 AM
Visits by one of the Census Bureau's workers will occur in 2010 between April and July. Citizens should not see any census workers at their door until then. But as you know anytime there is an opportunity to gather information from unsuspecting citizens there is always someone ready to take that opportunity and use the information to harm innocent people.
You will only have a Census Bureau worker show up at your door if you ignore the questionnaires that will be sent to you in March 2010.
Some census-related scams have already started. In rural Kentucky several individuals say that people identifying themselves as census workers come to their doors, ask a few census-type question, and then solicit a donation. They tell consumers they don't get paid for their travel expenses and need gas money to conduct the census. Do not invite them in and do not give them any amount of money!
Individuals have been reporting that they received a "2009 Census of Senior Citizens," sent by the Civic Council of Maryland (which incidentally does not show up on the Web as existing). It asks questions such as "should the death tax be permanently repealed?" and "should Medicare benefits be means tested?" The mailing asks that surveys be returned with a donation of up to $25. You should not give them a donation of any amount.
If a "real" Census worker knocks on your door they will have the following: (1)A badge; (2)a hand held device (3)a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Be sure to ask for their badge and ID. The ID is not a photo ID but will contain the taker's name and signature. So if you have doubts, ask to see a driver's license or other photo identification to validate the taker's identity. Census takers will never ask personal or financial information such as your Social Security number, bank or credit card account information. They will never take a donation or any other type of payment from you, EVER!
Any email you receive purporting to be from the US Census Bureau is a fake, delete it without opening as it may contain harmful spyware.
Please don't invite anyone into your home if you don't know them.
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Ruth Dockins is the Public Information Director for the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging and author of 'Age Spots,' a column/blog which is featured in several Southeast Missouri newspapers and is devoted to seniors and senior lifestyles.
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