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Authorities on the lookout for 2010 Census scams

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

As the start of the 2010 Census draws near, the Caldwell County Sheriff”s Department has already begun reminding citizens of precautions they should be taking to keep themselves safe from identity theft and other crimes.

In a memo released this week by CCSD Public Information Officer Paul Cowan in conjunction with the B

etter Business Bureau, residents were offered reminders about what the Census is for, and certain things that census takers will and will not do – which might tip residents off to contact from a scammer.

First and foremost, the announcement suggested, a census taker will not ask for any information regarding bank accounts, credit cards or social security numbers. Should Caldwell County residents be approached by someone that claims to work for the Census Bureau but requests such information, Cowan said to call the Sheriff”s Department right away at (512) 389-6777, so the individual can be checked out. Of course, if a someone claiming to be a census taker feels like an immediate danger to property or physical well being, residents are urged to call 9-1-1.

Additionally, he said, individuals working for the Census Bureau will have certain equipment that makes them recognizable. First and foremost, any census taker that is on the level will have an identification badge issued by the Census Bureau. Cowan suggested making sure to ask anyone claiming to be a census taker to see their badge before answering any questions.

Further, census takers will have handheld devices, a canvas Census Bureau bag, and a confidentiality notice. Anyone going door to door without this equipment should be reported to the local authorities so their identity can be confirmed.

As the 2010 Census progresses, there will be more than 140,000 workers going door to door across the country to count the population and gather demographic data about age, gender and race, among other information. However, the Better Business Bureau warns, these individuals are only slated to make contact door-to-door, and will not be gathering information via email.

Citizens are encouraged not to respond to emails requesting census-like information.

If you have questions or concerns about whether someone in your neighborhood is a census taker, contact the Caldwell County Sheriff”s Department or your local municipal police department.

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