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Old 05-21-2010, 10:42 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,023,037 times
Reputation: 22370

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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastalgirl View Post
This is scary! I haven't received any phone calls, but I only have a cell phone. Are you getting the calls on your home phone?

I'm glad you are sharp enough not to reveal any info to these people. I feel anxious for the other people they are calling who aren't so savvy.
Hey, Coastalgirl!

Yes, getting them on my home phone landline.

Interesting you mentioned the concern for others getting the calls, as the first thing I told my hubby after the initial call was - "what about elderly folks?" My parents' generation are so compliant when they think the government needs something. Heck, my mom got herself in a mess about 15 years ago, giving personal info over the phone to an actual scammer. She believed the man when he said he was calling from her credit card company about unauthorized charges and scared her to pieces and she just didn't think about it being a scam.
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,535,870 times
Reputation: 1072
We had a census worked stop by our home. We weren't there but he left a note with his name, number and identification number. I called him, he just asked one question, were you living in the property April 1st. I said no.
I'm guessing they didn't receive a census from this address so they were confirming that everyone was counted.
But he just asked that one question and the interview was over.

I hope whoever is harrassing you is not a scammer. That's scary!
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:06 AM
 
1,226 posts, read 2,050,097 times
Reputation: 1863
Callers asking census-related questions may not be scams



Posted: May 21, 2010 - 7:19pm

Advertisement


By Adam D. Young
Lubbock resident Grace Rogers was initially concerned a call claiming to be from the Census Bureau at 9 p.m. Thursday could be a scam.
She said the woman on the other end of the line wanted to ask her questions verifying information — such as the number of people living in her house — she’d submitted in her 2010 census form last month.
But, Rogers said, it was the caller’s claim every American in the country would receive such a call that was suspicious, and she didn’t initially provide her information. Instead, the caller gave her a case number and told her to call a toll-free Census Bureau hot line to confirm the call was authentic.
“I just thought it was a strange thing they were doing,” Rogers said.
Rogers, who Friday called the Census Bureau and confirmed the call was legitimate, is among countless Americans who have called the agency seeking confirmation that a census-related call or door-to-door visit is legitimate, said Bill Bowen, a Dallas-based regional spokesman for the Census Bureau.
Bowen said millions — but not all — of Americans are being called or visited at home by census workers gathering unreturned census forms or confirming information residents have already sent back.
He said there are a number of reasons residents may be asked to provide information in a follow-up visit or call, including conflicting information, such as listing five people in the house but only providing
four names and ages, or because a household may have sent in more than one census form.
“Or we just can’t read their handwriting,” Bowen said.
He said other Americans may receive a letter asking them to participate in the Census Bureau’s year-round American Community Survey.
One out of 480 households each month is asked to participate in the survey, which asks questions focusing on the household’s net worth, average commute time and employment status, among others.
“It’s pretty extensive and involved,” Bowen said.
Because some scams claiming to be census-related have been reported around the country, Bowen said,
residents should realize census workers or questionnaires will never ask for a person’s Social Security number or bank account numbers.
He urged residents to call the bureau’s worker verification hot line at 1 (800) 563-6499 to verify if a census worker or call is legitimate.
Though her census call was not a scam, Rogers said she’s glad she sought confirmation because she wanted to protect the integrity of the census and save herself from being victimized by a scam artist.
“If I weren’t concerned about the census as a retired government teacher I wouldn’t have gone to the trouble,” she said. “I’m concerned that census gets accurate information.”
Information collected by the census is used to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funding and helps lawmakers when determining legislative boundary lines.
The Census Bureau mailed forms to more than 130 million households beginning March 15, according to the bureau. It plans to send census collectors door to door through July to households that didn’t return the forms by April 15.
Residents who receive mail exclusively through a post office box likely did not receive a census form through the mail and should receive an in-person visit from a census worker, according to the Census Bureau.
Personal information recorded in the census will not be made public for 72 years after each census. The bureau isn’t required to release results from the count to the president until December and the states until March.

Helpful census phone numbers
  • 1 (800) 563-6499 — hot line to verify if a census worker or questionnaire is legitimate.
  • 1 (866) 872-6868 — hot line to call if a resident didn’t receive a questionnaire or accidentally discarded the first one.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:35 AM
 
1,343 posts, read 2,914,755 times
Reputation: 976
I have been working for the Census Bureau since late April, and we are just about done - after a mere 3 1/2 weeks. I was hired to do the follow up door to door on addresses that did not mail in their census form. I was horrified to learn that people who did mail in their forms are being called also to somehow verify the information on their forms.

Here is what I can tell you after 3 1/2 weeks as a census enumerator:

I cannot reveal any information that can personally identify anyone I spoke to, under penalty of big fine and/or lengthy prison sentence.

I cannot receive payment for writing about my experience as a census enumerator, so please do not send me any money.

I cannot carry a gun or other weapon while working for the US Census Bureau, although I have been advised to wear comfortable shoes in case I need to run away from a dangerous situation. (I am not making this stuff up, it's in the manual!)

While going to homes in and around my neighborhood, 99% of people have been incredibly nice and cooperative, inviting me into their homes (sorry, I am not supposed to go inside.... but I do anyway) apologizing for not mailing back their census form (that's ok, I would not have a job if everyone mailed their form in), and just being nice friendly people. Only 1 person yelled at me and told me to get off his property, which I did.

The Census questionnaire itself bothers me. After asking some basic questions we waste a tremendous amount of time asking if the residents spend any time living anywhere else, which only results in a checked box with no additional information, like... how much time do you spend living at your vacation home, in the military, in prison, or in a nursing home? Then, after asking how many people live in the house and getting their name, age, dob, hispanic origin, and race, we beat the respondents nearly to death by asking over and over if there was anyone else staying at the house on April 1, like any other relatives? nonrelatives? (Doesn't that cover every possibility? Either a relative or a nonrelative?_ but then, how about any other person? Babies? roommates? foster children?) (I SAID NOBODY, OK?)

It also bothers me to ask everyone if they are of hispanic origin at the same time the nation is considering what to do about illegal immigrants. If law enforcement or immigration services is told to find and prosecute illegal immigrants do you think they might use census data that can tell them that one neighborhood is 0% hispanic origin while another is 90% hispanic origin?

It also bothers me that after canvassing and following up on every single housing unit in the United States at humongous expense, we still will not be able to answer the most basic question: How many U.S. citizens are there, anyway? Answer: We don't know, we are counting people, not citizens. But this is how our representation in congress is determined and distribution of federal funds, but you need to be a citizen to actually vote, yet we are not counting citizens.

And finally, first day of training we are told to fill out timesheets daily. What a waste of time and energy! Every day! Timesheets are manually filled out, collected and driven into Charlotte every day. The courier is paid hourly + mileage to deliver these timesheets. The Charlotte office supposedly has 3 shifts working 24/7 processing these timesheets and yet they still can't get us paid on time. It's a colossal waste! Why not weekly timesheets? Or.... dare I suggest... a website for entering timesheet information?

It's also sad that any time something is pointed out as being wasteful, redundant, unnecessary, repetitive, or just plain assbackwards stupid, the ultimate rationalization is always.... well, this whole operation is a stimulus make-work program anyway. And for some aspects of it there seems to be no other reason.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:35 AM
 
1,226 posts, read 2,050,097 times
Reputation: 1863
Quote:
Originally Posted by XcapefromNJ View Post
....

The Census questionnaire itself bothers me. After asking some basic questions we waste a tremendous amount of time asking if the residents spend any time living anywhere else, which only results in a checked box with no additional information, like... how much time do you spend living at your vacation home, in the military, in prison, or in a nursing home? Then, after asking how many people live in the house and getting their name, age, dob, hispanic origin, and race, we beat the respondents nearly to death by asking over and over if there was anyone else staying at the house on April 1, like any other relatives? nonrelatives? (Doesn't that cover every possibility? Either a relative or a nonrelative?_ but then, how about any other person? Babies? roommates? foster children?) (I SAID NOBODY, OK?)
I filled out my survey by phone (I know, what a lack of security... my line could have been bugged and now someone knows I'm a white female of hispanic descent living with a white male of non hispanic descent!! Oh, no!!), and STILL had someone come to my house. I felt awful, but of course answered everything anyway.

And yes, the questions about anyone else staying at the house were very redundant and I felt interrogated, to the point that I told her she could check my closets and under the beds if she wanted. She had a good laugh, she was obviously aware of the absurdity of the questions.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:51 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,023,037 times
Reputation: 22370
Quote:
Originally Posted by cc0789 View Post
Callers asking census-related questions may not be scams



Posted: May 21, 2010 - 7:19pm

Advertisement


By Adam D. Young
Lubbock resident Grace Rogers was initially concerned a call claiming to be from the Census Bureau at 9 p.m. Thursday could be a scam.
She said the woman on the other end of the line wanted to ask her questions verifying information — such as the number of people living in her house — she’d submitted in her 2010 census form last month.
But, Rogers said, it was the caller’s claim every American in the country would receive such a call that was suspicious, and she didn’t initially provide her information. Instead, the caller gave her a case number and told her to call a toll-free Census Bureau hot line to confirm the call was authentic.
“I just thought it was a strange thing they were doing,” Rogers said.
Rogers, who Friday called the Census Bureau and confirmed the call was legitimate, is among countless Americans who have called the agency seeking confirmation that a census-related call or door-to-door visit is legitimate, said Bill Bowen, a Dallas-based regional spokesman for the Census Bureau.
Bowen said millions — but not all — of Americans are being called or visited at home by census workers gathering unreturned census forms or confirming information residents have already sent back.
He said there are a number of reasons residents may be asked to provide information in a follow-up visit or call, including conflicting information, such as listing five people in the house but only providing
four names and ages, or because a household may have sent in more than one census form.
“Or we just can’t read their handwriting,” Bowen said.
He said other Americans may receive a letter asking them to participate in the Census Bureau’s year-round American Community Survey.
One out of 480 households each month is asked to participate in the survey, which asks questions focusing on the household’s net worth, average commute time and employment status, among others.
“It’s pretty extensive and involved,” Bowen said.
Because some scams claiming to be census-related have been reported around the country, Bowen said,
residents should realize census workers or questionnaires will never ask for a person’s Social Security number or bank account numbers.
He urged residents to call the bureau’s worker verification hot line at 1 (800) 563-6499 to verify if a census worker or call is legitimate.
Though her census call was not a scam, Rogers said she’s glad she sought confirmation because she wanted to protect the integrity of the census and save herself from being victimized by a scam artist.
“If I weren’t concerned about the census as a retired government teacher I wouldn’t have gone to the trouble,” she said. “I’m concerned that census gets accurate information.”
Information collected by the census is used to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funding and helps lawmakers when determining legislative boundary lines.
The Census Bureau mailed forms to more than 130 million households beginning March 15, according to the bureau. It plans to send census collectors door to door through July to households that didn’t return the forms by April 15.
Residents who receive mail exclusively through a post office box likely did not receive a census form through the mail and should receive an in-person visit from a census worker, according to the Census Bureau.
Personal information recorded in the census will not be made public for 72 years after each census. The bureau isn’t required to release results from the count to the president until December and the states until March.

Helpful census phone numbers
  • 1 (800) 563-6499 — hot line to verify if a census worker or questionnaire is legitimate.
  • 1 (866) 872-6868 — hot line to call if a resident didn’t receive a questionnaire or accidentally discarded the first one.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
That one bolded line is what has me concerned about the phone calls I have received. The story you provided, along with info I posted from the Census website itself, plainly says that the person calling will provide a CASE NUMBER, and the person calling me refused to give me a CASE NUMBER - said she would give it AFTER I answered her questions, which is absurd! Why would I need to check if someone is legit AFTER THE FACT?

Also, in the info I copied from the Census website, it says a person's Caller ID should read US CENSUS and even if it doesn't show the CENSUS ID, it will show one of the Census tel #'s listed on the website. Mine not only did not show who was calling, it showed the number as a series of zeroes, wh/ my caller ID does when someone has blocked their identity.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:03 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,023,037 times
Reputation: 22370
XcapefromNJ: I really appreciate your sharing that info with us. I would much prefer someone come to my door than have a phone call and I hope folks are not rude when you show up. It used to be Census workers were respected and folks were very interested in being part of the Census. I think some of the concern today is with Identity Theft, and so people are wary.

Yes, I feel that a lot of this "busy work" with the phone calls is redundant.

The following is not directed to you, Xcape - just stating how I feel about the way the Census is being handled (with these redundant, time-wasting follow-ups via phone).

I will continue to maintain: if I bothered to return my census form via mail . . . and they have a copy of it . . . rather than wasting man power (and the expense of all the equipment needed to make these phone calls!!!!) . . . why didn't the Federal Gov't just send me another letter asking for further info?

By law, we are required to only reveal how many folks lived in our home on April 1st. We did that. For the federal government to be paying folks to make phone calls to try to get more info is ridiculous! Folks are under no obligation whatsoever to provide any further info other than how many folks were living there on April 1st (we did provide names, however).

Our government has gone wacko. Think about this. You can walk into a polling place and vote without even showing a voter's card. Heck, you can walk in and be given a ballot without even showing ID at all!

So it is okay for anyone to cast a vote in this country without anyone saying squat . . . but the feds are gonna bug me for info they are not even legally mandated to gather under the guise of needing it to determine how many congressional representatives we should be alloted . . . so folks who may not even be citizens can vote . . . or so folks engaged in voter fraud can go vote at 3 polling places on voting day.

DANG.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:43 AM
 
4,010 posts, read 8,926,101 times
Reputation: 1585
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
XcapefromNJ.....
Our government has gone wacko. Think about this. You can walk into a polling place and vote without even showing a voter's card. Heck, you can walk in and be given a ballot without even showing ID at all! ...
There is a very good historical reason for this. In the past, requirements for ID were used to prevent people from voting. The IDs that were required were often difficult or impossible to get. It was the same sort of thing as poll taxes, reading tests, property ownership, etc. All of it was designed to keep voting in few hands. All of it was abolished by the Supreme Ct. There is also no requirement for a national ID, this is why they can't require an ID for voting. They CAN question your elegibility to vote and ask for you to prove it, but this is left up to the individual election boards. There are no federal requirements for it.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:48 AM
 
4,010 posts, read 8,926,101 times
Reputation: 1585
Quote:
Originally Posted by XcapefromNJ View Post
..... We don't know, we are counting people, not citizens. But this is how our representation in congress is determined and distribution of federal funds, but you need to be a citizen to actually vote, yet we are not counting citizens. .....
This is how the Constitution is written. The states all wanted to count people in their state even if they could not vote because it increases their representation. Originally women were not allowed to vote, but they were counted. Slaves were counted as 3/5ths because Northern states did not want the South counting them as full people. Untaxed Indians were not counted.

The 14th amendment changed it to count all "whole people", excluding untaxed Indians. Since the government killed all the untaxed Indians, then this means every individual, regardless of status is counted.
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Charlotte
1,764 posts, read 2,738,691 times
Reputation: 1160
I am also a census worker - just finished my last house today. I was told to say that they may get a call checking up on my work. I think they call people randomly to flag potential problem census workers. It's possible that a temporary census worker could make up everything and not actually knock on doors.
As for other calls, there have been some scams. Census workers are trained to say exactly the same thing to everyone - it is especially important that they read the entire confidentiality agreement over the phone before asking questions- which even says in detail where in US Law the Census is.
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