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BBB warns about 2020 Census scams

Posted at 6:05 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 14:46:27-05

HELENA — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Federal Trade Commission are cautioning people about census worker hiring scams.

The Census Bureau will be hiring around half a million people across the country for temporary employment to help with the 2020 census.

BBB Montana Marketplace Manager Hannah Stiff cautions that scammers can take advantage of the hiring push by posting fake census jobs on social media sites and around the web.

“You never have to pay to apply for a federal job, that is always a huge red flag,” said Stiff. “They’re not going to make you pay for training or a uniform, and they’re never going to overpay you. The federal government isn’t going to say, ‘We accidentally cut you that $1,000 check could you please wire us back money.’”

The only way for people to apply for a census job is through the 2020 census website,

BBB is also cautioning about people pretending to be census workers in the coming months.

Some of the information The Census Bureau requests is personal, but they will never ask for your full social security number, money, donations, anything on behalf of a political party, your full bank or credit account numbers, or your mother's maiden name.

If someone shows up to your door claiming to be a census worker, ask to see their ID badge. Census takers must present a field badge that includes a photograph of themselves, a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.

Official census workers will also be carrying a Census Bureau laptop or cellphone, and a bag with a Census Bureau logo.

People should report anyone who is acting suspicious or aggressively demanding information.