How to Avoid Frauds and Scams When Taking 2020 Census

It's completely rational to be wary of sharing your personal information online, especially if you need to fill in a real physical address or your social security number. That kind of information can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Fraudulent websites posing as real sources for information often fool people into entering intimate details of their finances, home information, and other sensitive data.

While the 2020 census deadline was extended to the end of August due to COVID-19 it's only natural to be concerned that you may fall victim to ID theft. However, it's still every American's civic responsibility to take part.

Why is the Census important?

Because the census is done once every 10 years, it's understandable if you don't necessarily understand why it's necessary. The U.S. government determines how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives with this information. Also, these statistics are useful for lawmakers, business owners, etc when determining how to allocate resources.

Why is the 2020 Census online?

For the first time ever, you can fill out your census online instead of on paper, but many are worried about getting scammed and falling prey to cybercriminals. Here's what you need to know about the 2020 census to protect yourself:

Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau takes a census of residents to determine how many people are living in the USA, Puerto Rico, American Samoa Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This census has been done since the late 18th century.

Back in 2010, government officials went door to door to have people fill out this census on paper, but in 2020 things are different. Americans can now fill out the census online through a questionnaire by entering a 12-digit code that was sent to their mail. This is a much safer method of doing the census because of the COVID-19 epidemic. However, some people are worried about entering their private data online and I don't blame them.

If you open your web browser and navigate to "My2020Census.gov", you can be 100% sure that you are on a legitimate website. The .gov part of the web address means that the website is being used by a governmental entity, and the census you will fill out will absolutely count.

Unfortunately, there will inevitably be fake 2020 census sites to try to trick people into sharing their private information to malicious third parties who can use it against them. If you find yourself on a website that doesn't have .gov in the address, then you should get out immediately.

July 13, 2020

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