U.S. Department of Commerce

Are You In a Survey?

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Is this a legitimate household survey conducted by the Census Bureau?

Official business of the U.S. Government

Any request for survey information from the Census Bureau will be clearly identified as coming from the U.S. Census Bureau and as OFFICIAL BUSINESS of the United States.

It is a Federal offense for anyone to pretend they represent the Census Bureau, or any other office of the United States Government. Section 912 of Title 18, U.S. Code, states the following:

"Whoever Falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."

Census Bureau surveys look different from other surveys, and we provide information that will help you in answering the census or survey.

You may receive an introductory letter.

When you are in a Census Bureau household survey, you may receive a letter from the Census Bureau Director, notifying you that, in a few days, your household will receive

  1. a questionnaire in the mail, or
  2. a phone call from the Census Bureau, or
  3. a visit from a Census Bureau representative

This letter will also tell you whether your participation is mandatory or voluntary, and that your responses are confidential and protected by law.

Questions and concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about a survey, please call or e-mail the Census Bureau Regional Office in your area.

If a Census Bureau employee has called you and you would like to verify that the person calling is indeed a Census Bureau employee you may confirm this by using the telephone center number or email on the Contact the National Processing Center page.

When you contact us, if you can provide any of the following information, it will help us respond more quickly:

  1. the name of the survey and/or the return address for the survey form (if you receive a request in the mail or by e-mail)
  2. the name and/or telephone number of anyone who contacted you by phone
  3. the name and/or other identification provided by someone who contacted you in person
  4. your case identification number

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Systems Support Division | Last Revised: September 26, 2013