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Avoiding Fraud and Scams

You may be the victim of a scam if someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau asks you for certain information.


Avoiding Scams Online

Phishing is a criminal act in which someone tries to get your information by pretending to be an entity that you trust. Phishing emails often direct you to a website that looks real but is fake and may be infected with malware.

It is important to know that the Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation in the 2020 Census.

If you get an email that you think is fradulent:

  • 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
  • Delete the message

census worker at door

Staying Safe at Home

If someone visits your home to collect a response for the 2020 Census, you can do the following to verify their identity:

  • First, check to make sure that they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
  • If you still have questions about their identity, you can call  800-923-8282 to speak with a Census Bureau representative. If it's determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department. 

Remember: U.S. Census Bureau employees won't be upset when you ask to verify their identities before answering their questions.


Census Bureau Logo

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


To be routed to your local U.S. Census Bureau office Call 855-562-2020 select option 3, and enter your Zip code. 

Role of U.S. Census Bureau, Local CCC's, and the State


Federal Operations

The U.S. Census Bureau’s primary mission is to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about its people and economy. Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to determine the number of people living in the United States. The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Sections 2 and 9, directs that a census or enumeration be taken


Complete Count Committees 

A Complete Count Committee (CCC) is comprised of a broad spectrum of government and community leaders from education, business, healthcare and other community organizations. These trusted voices develop and implement a 2020 Census awareness campaign based upon their knowledge of the local community and encourage a response.


Role of the State

For Census 2020, Montana’s Census and Economic Information Center at the Montana Department of Commerce will support national, regional and state U.S. Census Bureau’s offices and staff to achieve a complete count through outreach efforts.