2020 Census creating a potential for scams

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The Census is near. Starting in April, you can expect to be contacted by Census workers compiling data. However, this event opens the door to potential scams and fraud.

While it's important to participate in the official Census, there are four popular scams the North Dakota Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division says you should watch out for.

Phishing fraud is the most common. This scam comes in the form of an official looking email saying you've failed to complete the Census.

Fake Census surveys come by mail.

Fake census callers will identify themselves as a service worker claiming to have not receive your form.

Finally, phony in-person home visits pose the biggest risk to your personal safety.

"It's in the news. People are aware that this is happening and it might seem to many people like it's something legitimate. So, you just have to be careful," said Parrell Grossman with the North Dakota Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division.

Grossman says most scammers will ask for your social security number, bank or credit card numbers, pins or passwords, money or donations, your mother's maiden name, or pose political questions. You can verify if it's a scam by comparing the questions to those on the US Census Bureau website.

For home visits, you should always ask the worker for their official ID badge and a second form of ID.

Grossman says the consequences of these scams is usually identity theft.

To report a scam to the national Census Bureau, you can call the national bureau 1-800-923-8282. For more information on the official Census, you can visit www.2020census.gov/