The 2020 census begins in mid-March. That is when the U.S. census bureau begins sending postcards to all U.S. households requesting their participation. You should receive the correspondence by April 1. This is the first time that households may provide data online. However, you may also respond by phone or mail. Since the data received will impact federal funding for community services and programs, as well as representation, it is important to respond.
It is also important to avoid the scams that officials anticipate will piggyback on the census. Officials offer these tips to protect yourself from fraud:
- The postcard you receive should display the address of the census bureau’s national processing center in Jeffersonville, Indiana. If that address does not appear, it’s not from the census bureau.
- Beginning in mid-May, census workers will visit homes that have not responded. Legitimate census workers will have a photo ID badge displaying a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. The individual should also furnish you with the number of a regional census office so you can verify his/her identity. Or you may call your regional census office at 800-923-8282.
- A legitimate census worker will never ask for personal data like your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, credit card information or bank information.
More detailed information about avoiding fraud is available from AARP here
For a list of questions the census will ask, click here.
Access the official website of the census bureau here.