American Community Survey Isn't a Scam | NBC4 Washington

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American Community Survey Isn't a Scam

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, April 3, 2015)

    The U.S. Census Bureau has a survey many may not be familiar with, but it’s not junk mail, it’s certainly not a scam, and if you fail to complete it, you could pay a price.

    The American Community Survey asks about things like ethnicity, citizenship and what you pay for housing.

    “It gives us current, up-to-date, accurate information about communities of all sizes every year, as opposed to only having that information every 10 years,” said Lisa Blumerman of the U.S. Census Bureau.

    The survey is mandatory and can be completed online, over the phone or through the mail. Someone with the Census Bureau might show up at your door.

    “That allows us to have the very detailed information that we need to plan where schools need to go, where fire departments need to go, how to help us alleviate traffic concerns,” Blumerman said.

    The survey doesn’t ask anything that could lead to identity theft.

    “The Census Bureau will never ask you for things like your mother’s maiden name, will never ask you for your bank account information, will never ask you for your Social Security number,” Blumerman said. “We provide all the tools and resources with our information so that we can help you verify that it’s legit.”

    You can be fined if you fail to complete the survey.