How to Detect a Phony Census Worker

Did you know the U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to take a count of America’s population every ten years through a series of questions known as the decennial census? During this time, you can expect criminals to pose as census workers intent on stealing your personal and financial information.

As the U.S. Census Bureau prepares for the mobilization of the 2020 Census, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno encourages you to be on the lookout for phishing emails, door-to-door imposters, and phony phone calls. You can expect to be asked questions about your age, ancestry, health insurance, home value and even fertility; however, the Census Bureau will never ask for:

  • Your full Social Security number
  • Money or donations
  • Anything on behalf of a political party
  • Your full bank or credit card account numbers
  • Your mother’s maiden name

If someone purporting to be a Census Bureau Representative contacts you and you would like to verify the authenticity of the call, email or home visit, you can reach the Census Bureau’s Contact Center at 1-800-523-3205 or the Atlanta Regional Office at 1-800-424-6974.

For additional information on how to identify a legitimate census employee, visit To report a suspicious email or phone call you may contact the Sheriff’s Office Fraud Line at    239-258-3292. To report a suspicious person going door-to-door without proper identification, call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 477-1000.