Officials warn of fake census form scam

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ARDMORE, OK - National Census day is only a couple of days away, and the government wants to make sure you're turning in the official form - not falling for a scam. Dara Downs has more.

With all the hype surrounding the 2010 Census most of us are eager to turn in the form as soon as possible, but if you're not careful you could be putting your personal information into the wrong hands.

For many young adults the 2010 Census is the first census form they've been asked to fill out.

"This was my first time doing it, and you know when I was living at home with my parents I had never seen theirs, they had never shared that with us, so it being the first time on my own I didn't know what to expect," Ardmore resident Amanda Harger says.

Harger says she received what she thought was a census form, asking common census questions, but the form also asked for her Social Security number. She says she didn't realize the form was a fake until after she had mailed it back.

"I had seen something on the news saying there was a fake going around, that it could ask for your social security number or your banking information that that would be incorrect. I just assumed that for the records that they needed it to know that it was you filling it out."

Census officials say the census forms do not ask for any personal identifying information, such as social security numbers or bank account information, and that a census form will never ask for a signature.

"We never get into Social Security numbers due to the fact of making people uneasy with giving that Social Security number because that is an easy way to commit fraud," Rich Gerdes, Assistant Regional Manager for the U.S. Census, says.

Gerdes says the ten question census forms have been sent out almost primarily through the mail except in rural areas without mail delivery, and says census takers won't start distributing forms until May.

Census officials say if you do think you have been scammed to call your local police department and monitor your credit reports for any fraudulent activity.

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