Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Avoiding Fraudulent Activity and Scams

October marks the 20th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month! 

The Census Bureau goes to great lengths to protect your information. We are committed to safeguarding the information of survey participants so we can provide the country with high-quality statistics.

If you suspect phishing or other scams, learn about what you can do. 


Phishing is the criminal act of trying to get your information – usernames, passwords, social security numbers, and bank account or credit card account details – by pretending to be an entity you trust. Phishing e-mails often direct you to a website that looks real, but is fake, and may be infected with malware.

Other Scams

You may be the victim of a scam if someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau asks you for certain information.  The Census Bureau never asks for:

  • your full Social Security number
  • money or donations
  • anything on behalf of a political party
  • your full bank or credit card account numbers
  • your mother’s maiden name

What you can do

Should you suspect fraudulent activity, please do the following

  • if you get mail:
    • check that the return address is Jeffersonville, Indiana
    • if you continue to question the authenticity of the letter or form call the Regional Office for your state to verify the household survey.  For business surveys please visit our Business Help Site or contact the National Processing Center
  • if someone calls your household to complete a survey:
  • if someone visits your residence to complete a survey:
    • check first for a valid U.S. Census Bureau ID badge
    • if you are still unsure then call the Regional Office for your state to verify you are in a legitimate survey and the visitor is a Census Bureau employee
  • if you get an e-mail and think it is bogus:
    • do not reply, do not click on any links, and do not open any attachments
    • forward the e-mail or website URL to the Census Bureau at [email protected]
    • delete the message.  We will investigate and notify you of the findings.