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2010 Census Cautions & Other Tips to Keep Your Identity Safe
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Author Topic: 2010 Census Cautions & Other Tips to Keep Your Identity Safe  (Read 32838 times)
mwestfall
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« on: December 02, 2009, 10:57:03 PM »

2010 Census Cautions & Other Tips to Keep Your Identity Safe

With the U.S. Census process beginning, you should be cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft.

How do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist?

** If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don't know into your home.

** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, the Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers nor will employees solicit donations.

Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census.

Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.

This information was sourced from the following BBB article: http://www.bbb.org/us/article/10306
Snopes also has some information on Census Fraud: http://www.snopes.com/fraud/identity/census.asp

Additionally, you should use caution when providing ANY sensitive personal information by e-mail or on the internet. 

Things to Remember:

1) Practically any real U.S. Federal Government website will be on a .gov domain (Pay attention to your URL/Location bar.)

2) State and County Governments are uncommon but possible targets for the same type of deceit that bank and paypal sites are.  Before providing any personal or sensitive information on any government's website, ensure the URL is correct in your URL/Location bar.

3) If you receive an e-mail from a bank, credit union, paypal, etc, requesting ANY information whatsoever, make SURE that you confirm in the URL/Location bar that you ARE at your bank's website.

4) Personally, to date, I have NEVER received a legitimate e-mail from ANY financial institution asking for any information.  Think about it, any information they might be asking you for, they already have.  You already gave it to them.  They didn't loose it.  They don't ask for periodic "updates" to your information either.

5) Most financial institutions ONLY send alert or news type notifications by e-mail.  This is usually to confirm online activity such as a transfer, online account change, online payment, etc.  This is done to alert you of any activity performed online in the event your account was compromised.  In such e-mails, they usually do not ask you to login to confirm any information.  They advise you to contact the institution directly if you did not authorize that transaction.  If they do ask you to login to a site for some reason ENSURE that you are at your institutions actual website by paying close attention to the URL/Location bar.

6) WHEN IN DOUBT DO NOT SUBMIT ANY INFORMATION ONLINE.  It is better to call your institution directly to confirm any information, account activity, or correspondence you are sent.

Have a happy and safe Holiday Season!

« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 11:04:04 PM by mwestfall » Logged
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