BBB warns people to look out for census scams

Horry County, SC - By A.J. Ross - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – As the 2010 census surveys start to arrive by mail, the Coastal Carolina Better Business Bureau is warning people to be on the lookout for scams.

Kathy Graham, who works with the BBB, says scammers look to take advantage of opportunities where people are willing to give out their personal information.

"In a bad economy, there's always scams and they tend to grow and grow," said Graham.  "But during the census, of course people they are going to be out there."

Graham says the Census Bureau will only reach out to people through the mail and any emails people receive are fake.

She also warns census workers will only show up at a person's door if they have not filled out the questionnaire and mailed it back.  If a legitimate census worker knocks on your door, Graham says they should have identification verifying who they are.

The BBB is also urging people to be mindful of giving out too much information.  Graham says census workers will never ask for personal information like social security numbers or banking information.  BBB officials are urging anyone who thinks something may be suspicious to contact the local authorities.

"Don't be afraid to let authorities know if a scam has swooped through your neighborhood or come to your home," said Graham.  "That's the only way we can alert people that it's out there."

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