County consumer protection department warns residents about census scams

Editor’s note: This press release was provided by the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection.

(White Plains, NY) – In conjunction with the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, the County’s Consumer Protection Department is gearing up to prevent potential scams targeting Westchester residents during the completion of Census 2020.

County Executive George Latimer said: “An accurate 2020 Census count is vital to Westchester County. All hyperbole aside, an inaccurate count could cost the County millions of dollars. Because of this, we must ensure we do all we can to protect citizens from scams that look to detract from the very serious and important work ahead.”

Some examples of telltale signs of a scam, according to 2020Census.gov, are centered on questions that will not be asked by the Census Bureau. During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will NEVER ask for:

  • Your Social Security number;
  • Money or donations;
  • Anything on behalf of a political party; or
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers.

If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it’s a scam, and you should not cooperate.

Consumer Protection Director Jim Maisano said: “We see evidence each day that scammers are everywhere and look to take advantage of any opportunity to steal your hard earned money or identity. That is why, with our County Police, our department is diligently watching for any Census 2020 related scams. If you see anything that may be of concern, contact us – we are here to protect you. We will be providing regular updates about any census scams on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Additionally, below is a list of other things that folks should never provide, as this information will NEVER be requested by the Census Bureau:\

  • Taxpayer identification numbers;
  • Gift cards;
  • Identification;
  • Passwords; and
  • To enter your home

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Gleason said: “Westchester County Police have shared information with all our municipal police partners about potential scams related to the 2020 Census. The County’s law enforcement community will work together to identify and investigate any fraudulent activity that might occur.”\

If you have you seen or heard something about the 2020 Census that is confusing, let our Consumer Protection Department know by calling (914) 995-2155. You can also let the Census Bureau know by contacting rumors@census.gov.