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As the 2020 Census gets closer, we are expecting copycat surveys and other questionable contacts to happen. We’ve already been asked to verify a non-2020 Census survey as from the Census Bureau and is not a scam. How do we participate in the 2020 Census and keep our communities safe?

First of all: the 2020 Census will never ask for your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card number, money, or donations.

Second: Any Census Bureau employee that comes to your home will have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.

If you still have questions about their identity, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

How to verify a mailing is from the Census Bureau

If you receive a survey or a letter in the mail from the Census Bureau, the envelope contains certain information that will help you verify its legitimacy. For example:

U.S. Department of Commerce in the return address. This is the Census Bureau’s parent agency.

Jeffersonville, Indiana in the return address. Most census- and survey-related materials are mailed from, and returned to, the National Processing Center at 1201 East 10th St. in Jeffersonville, IN.

You may also receive a reminder letter from one of the Census Bureau’s regional offices or headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area.

Information for responding to a survey online is mailed to your address, including how to register online and/or log in. For information on whether a survey has the option to be completed online, please visit the survey’s webpage.

How to identify a phone call from the Census Bureau

If your address was selected to be in a survey, the Census Bureau may call you to participate. Some surveys are done exclusively by phone. They might also call you if they do not find you at home or when a personal visit is not convenient.

You may receive a call from one of the Census Bureau’s contact centers or from a field representative.

For more information on how to avoid scams, please visit the US Census Bureau’s website ( or the AARP’s website (