As simple as this process is, criminals still find ways to victimize members of the public. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, along with Pinellas County Justice and Consumer Services and other local law enforcement agencies, are united in their mission to make the public aware that even the census can be a tool for criminals to engage in identity theft, fraud and burglary.
First of all, census workers are not contacting anyone by email or through the internet. Do not respond to any census-related inquiries online. All forms will be sent by U.S. mail. Look twice at any communication by email or U.S. mail using the word "census" to promote an unrelated event or fund raiser. The official federal census forms do not solicit donations for or promote any organization or cause.
According to investigators with Pinellas County Justice and Consumer Services, “Legitimate census workers conducting neighborhood visits will carry an identification badge, a hand-held device, a Census Bureau logo canvas bag and a confidentiality notice.” If someone claiming to be a census worker comes to your door, ask for identification and do not allow that person inside. Official census workers are to remain outside to conduct their resident contacts. They will not ask you to “use the bathroom” or “to make a phone call.”
Assigned census workers are knocking on doors to verify address information. They might ask for a salary range in the household, but no other financial information will be sought. Be suspicious of any “census” worker who asks for your credit card or banking information, your social security number, or who solicits donations.
Official census workers may make contact by phone, and if you are concerned, you can confirm their identity and affiliation with the Census Bureau by calling 1-800-432-1495.
Florida is part of the United States Census Bureau’s Atlanta Regional Census Center, along with Alabama and Georgia. Two Local Census Offices (LCOs) will open in Pinellas County:
St. Petersburg Local Census Office
6661 49th Street North
Clearwater Local Census Office
2461 North McMullen Booth Rd.
Citizens with questions or concerns about the census, or who wish to report any concerns, can contact the following offices or local law enforcement.
Pinellas County Planning Department
David Walker, Planning Section Manager
Pinellas County Justice and Consumer Services Office
For more information and to actually view the 10-question 2010 Census form, visit 2010.census.gov.