VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Alia talks with Tim Maniscalo, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana, about U.S. Census Scams.
Recently, the BBB is seeing more scams tying the U.S. Census and stimulus checks together.
According to the BBB, scammers will send an unsolicited message via e-mail, text or social media. They claim that in order to get your stimulus money, you need to complete the census.
The message usually provides a link, to a phony website, to get your information. The links could potentially include viruses, allowing scammers to access sensitive data, like your passwords and social security number.
Mansicalo says the U.S. Census and stimulus payments are not related, meaning you don't have to do one to get the other.
The BBB recommends the following to protect yourself:
- Know how the U.S. Census Bureau communicates
According to the BBB, the bureau will only send e-mails if you signed up for them. Otherwise, initial contact is usually done through postal mail. In addition, the bureau will never ask for your personal information via e-mail.
- Only visit official websites
Valid U.S. government websites mostly end in ".gov".
For information the U.S. Census: 2020census.gov
For information on economic stimulus payments: irs.gov/coronavirus
- Never click on links in unsolicited messages
While the websites may appear legitimate, the BBB says they're often infected with malware. If you don't know, or trust, the person sending you the link, don't click it.
If you feel you've been a victim of a scam, or want to scams reported in your area, visit the BBB's free ScamTracker tool.