Don’t be fooled! With the 2020 Census, the recent passing of the stimulus package, and the extension of tax returns, the scammers have unleashed and are phishing for your information! Here are some pointers on how to protect yourself.
- Don’t accept email or attachments from anyone that you do not know. Do not be fooled by the emails that are disguising as the 2020 Census Bureau, the government, law enforcement, or IRS.
- Never give out or confirm your personal information to anyone over the phone, email, text, etc. This includes your social security number, your bank account, birth date, or credit card number.
- Don’t answer the phone if number is blocked or is not familiar. Only answer if you are expecting a call and recognize the number. Scammers are good at what they do. Once they have you on the phone it is easy for them to feed you bait. Hang up and don’t take the bait. Scammers impersonate the IRS representative, family member, law enforcement, legal, collections agency, etc. They may have some personal information dear to you, that can be used to help confirm other identifying information.
- Check for identification. Is someone at your door? What is their purpose? Ask for identification. Census Bureau representatives may stop at your door if you have not completed your census. Identification will include a valid ID badge, with photo, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. To avoid a visit, complete your census.
- Report any suspected fraud activity. Here are some resources to learn more about what to expect from 2020 census and IRS, as well as how to report any suspected fraudulent activity.