Officials: Beware of Census Imposters

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – Can you identify a legitimate U.S. Census Bureau employee from an imposter?

Two Mercer County residents in Mercer and Fredonia were put to this task recently, telling a legitimate U.S. Census Bureau employee that someone posing as a Census Bureau employee asked to gain entry into their homes, saying the homeowners had failed to respond to the 2020 Census.

In Western Pennsylvania, invitations to complete the 2020 Census began arriving in mailboxes on March 12. If you haven’t received the invite already, it will be arriving before April. If you fail to complete the 2020 Census by mail, phone or online by the end of April, you can expect an in-person visit by a legitimate Census Bureau representative in May.

As of March 18, 2020, all Census Bureau field reps have suspended in-person visits due to COVID-19, the new coronavirus, but will continue to conduct survey research by phone.

Census Bureau employees do conduct surveys year-round and may visit your home following the temporary coronavirus suspension to drop off census materials, conduct quality checks and collect research on a variety of other surveys, besides the well-known 2020 Decennial Census. However, the field reps specifically for the 2020 Census are not scheduled to make in-person visits in Western Pennsylvania until at least May and only if your household has failed to complete or improperly completed the 2020 Census.


– All U.S. Census Bureau employees will carry a badge with a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, photo identification and an expiration date. Workers also have a bag and equipment with the U.S. Census Bureau logo.

– You can contact the regional office covering the Western Pennsylvania area at 1-800-262-4236 to verify a visitor is a legitimate Census Bureau employee.

Your Better Business Bureau of Western PA is also available by phone at 877-267-5222 to answer questions you may have, provide scam tips and advice and assist you in filing a complaint or reporting a scam.


– Demand entry into your home.
– Ask for your full Social Security number.
– Ask for money or gifts.
– Ask for your mother’s maiden name.

BBB warns scams relating to the 2020 Census may happen by mail, social media, text message, phone and in-person. Report Census Bureau imposters to BBB Scam Tracker. If it is determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department.

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