In my years of helping people deal with the aftermath of identity theft I’ve observed several things. The first is that Internet scams are as widespread as the common cold and Cyber criminals will look for any opportunity to steal personal information online. This also includes taking advantage of the 2010 Census. Computer users, such as yourself, should be warned to watch out for fake emails claiming to be from the Census Bureau asking for your participation.
According to Ida Love of the U.S. Census Bureau, “The Census Bureau does not communicate with anyone about their questionnaire via email.” Furthermore, the Census Bureau does not send any email requesting PIN codes, passwords, Social Security numbers or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.
If you receive an email or find a Web site that you suspect is falsely representing the Census Bureau, please keep the following tips in mind.
1. Do not reply or click on any links within the email.
2. Do not open any attachments. Attachments may contain viruses that can infect your computer.
3. Forward any suspicious emails or web site URL’s to the Census Bureau at email@example.com.
4. The FBI which investigates cyber crime has a special website to file a complaint at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.