Knowing what the 2020 Census will and will not ask is the best way to spot a scam. View the 2020 Census Sample Questionnaire and familiarize yourself with the questions.
The 2020 Census does not ask for bank account, credit card, tax return, pay stub, medical or social security information. Your census form is not tied to nor reported to any other federal agency or program, such as the IRS, Medicare, Social Security, Elections or welfare programs. Be cautious of any form or person linking any of those programs to the census.
You should receive a written letter (not an email) in mid-March inviting to complete your form online. Self-responding to the 2020 Census early and online is the best way to avoid having Census Bureau employees knock on your door to collect your census form.
Although the 2020 Census will be the first census with an online response option, it will not be emailed to you. You cannot complete your form by email. If you see an email with a link or attachment that claims to be from the census, it is probably a scam. Call the Census Bureau and report it before clicking any suspicious links or opening attachments.
All Census Bureau employees going door-to-door can be identified by a black messenger bag with the Census Bureau printed on the front. They also carry a U.S. Census Bureau identification badge. If you have any suspicions, you can ask for identification and ask them to return at a later date while you confirm their information with the U.S. Census Bureau.