Live 5 Scambusters: Be counted but don’t be scammed by the 2020 Census

Updated: Mar. 12, 2020 at 1:30 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - It's time to stand up and be counted but don't be scammed by the 2020 Census.

When you go to your mailbox beginning Thursday you should be getting a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau. The first mailers for the 2020 Census are going out between now and March 20. The envelope will include a letter explaining the Census and how to respond and a copy of the questionnaire.

This mailed invitation is the first phase of the Census process. Eventually, people will be knocking on doors in the community, but not for another couple of months.

“If you’re seeing Census takers in your community trying to get some of your information in March and April I would decline,” Census Bureau media specialist Lindy Studds said. “If you need to call law enforcement you can.”

The 2020 Census offers more ways than ever before to respond. You can fill out the paper form, respond by phone to the number provided, or go online to

It’s also important to know what you will be asked and what you won’t when filling out the survey.

You’ll enter the Census ID number provided in the information you receive by mail. You will confirm your address for the 2020 Census, provide your full name and phone number. Then you’ll answer a few questions about the number of people living at the address, their names, and relations, gender, and race.

“We will never ask you for things like your social security number,” Studds said. “We will not ask about bank account numbers, PIN numbers. We will not ask for donations. We will not ask about political party preference and things like that.”

The best way to know you’re filling out a legitimate census is to make sure to go to If you have questions or concerns you can report it to the U.S. Census Bureau here.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at

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