Phony BBB E-mail Spreads Fiction about 2010 Census; Get the Facts

An e-mail which falsely claims to be from the Better Business Bureau about the upcoming 2010 Census is inaccurate and BBB is advising consumers to get the facts.

How to Identify a Census Field Representative

  • If a U.S. Census Bureau employee knocks on your door, here are some recognition tips to assure the validity of the field representative:
    • The field representative must present an ID badge that contains a Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date.  The field representative may also be carrying a bag with a Census Bureau logo.
    • The field representative will provide you with supervisor contact information and/or the Regional Office phone number for verification, if asked.
    • The field representative will provide you with a letter from the Census Bureau Director on official letterhead.

When Field Representatives will be Going Door-to-Door

  • From April to July 2010, the Census Bureau will knock on the door of every household that does not mail back a completed 2010 Census form.
  • It's critical that you take just 10 minutes to fill out and mail back your form rather than wait for a census worker to show up on your doorstep. About $85 million in taxpayer dollars are saved for every one percent increase in mail response.
  • The Census Bureau must get a census form to – and a completed form back from – every residence in the United States.  That's more than 130 million addresses. This is why the census is the largest domestic mobilization our nation undertakes.

What the 2010 Census DOES NOT Ask

  • Field representatives will never ask you for your social security number, bank account number, or credit card number.  Census workers also never solicit for donations and will never contact you by e-mail. 

The Census is Safe

  • The 2010 Census will ask for name, gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship, and whether you own or rent your home – just 10 simple questions that will take about 10 minutes to answer.
  • Your answers are protected by law and are not shared with anyone.
  • The Census Bureau safeguards all census responses to the highest security standards available.

For more information about the upcoming 2010 Census visit