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Please note that the Census Bureau will never ask for your full social security number, bank account number, or passwords.

If you require immediate assistance with verifying a survey is conducted by the Census Bureau, contact the Census Bureau Regional Office for your state or the Customer Service Center for more information.

The Census Bureau is committed to ensuring your safety as we continue to collect information through our household surveys amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, all states have resumed in-person visits for cases when we are unable to reach you by phone to complete the survey.  However, all survey operations are subject to ongoing public health updates and assessments at the local level.

Identifying which Census Bureau survey

In addition to conducting the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau conducts various surveys that study households, businesses, schools, hospitals, and more. These statistics deliver valuable information for local officials and organizations who provide resources and services to your community.

If you have been contacted to participate in a survey and want to verify that it is legitimate, you can search the Census Bureau’s list of surveys by name.

The name of the Census Bureau survey may be provided in the following ways:

  • In a mailing from the Census Bureau.
  • By a caller from the Census Bureau.
  • By a census taker or field 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 information that will help you verify its legitimacy. For example:

  • “U.S. Census Bureau” in the return address or “U.S. Department of Commerce” which is the Census Bureau’s parent agency.
  • Jeffersonville, IN in the return address. The Census Bureau has a mail processing center located there.

*If you receive a letter signed by former Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham, please note that it is legitimate. The Census Bureau is in the process of updating printed materials due to the recent transition in leadership. Thank you.

In addition to the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau conducts over 100 surveys that collect statistics on households, businesses, hospitals, and more.

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

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

How to verify an email or text message is from the Census Bureau

Some surveys such as the Household Pulse Survey may contact you via text message. The Household Pulse Survey uses the number 39242 (message and data rates may apply*) to send a link to complete the survey online.

Emails from the Census Bureau are sent from the official @census.gov domain.

Any links included in a Census Bureau email will direct you to an official federal government website ending in .gov.

Emails from the Census Bureau will have instructions or information to complete a survey online, by phone with a Census Bureau representative, or by paper. The Census Bureau will not ask you to provide your personal information via email.

The Census Bureau will never ask for your full Social Security number, bank account number, or passwords.

*Respondents may Reply “Stop” to opt out of receiving text messages.

How to identify a census taker or Census Bureau field representative

The Census Bureau is committed to ensuring your safety as we continue to collect information through our household surveys amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, all states have resumed in-person visits for cases when we are unable to reach you by phone to complete the survey.  However, all survey operations are subject to ongoing public health updates and assessments at the local level.

If you are visited by someone from the Census Bureau, they may be working on a 2020 Census follow-up survey or one of our other surveys. The Census Bureau conducts over 100 surveys throughout the country in addition to the decennial census.

Here are some ways you can verify an individual is a Census Bureau employee:

  • The census taker or field representative will present an ID badge that includes:
    • their name,
    • their photograph,
    • a Department of Commerce watermark, and
    • an expiration date.
  • They will have an official bag and Census Bureau-issued electronic device, such as a laptop or smartphone, bearing the Census Bureau logo.
  • Census takers and field representatives will conduct their work between the hours of 9am and 9pm, local time.

For Census Bureau surveys, Census Bureau field representatives report to one of six Regional Offices across the country. If you wish to independently confirm that the person at your door is a Census Bureau field representatives conducting a household survey other than the 2020 Census you can enter their name in the Census Bureau’s staff search website, or contact the Regional Office for your state.

How to identify a phone call from the Census Bureau

The Census Bureau conducts over 100 surveys other than the 2020 Census. If your address was selected to participate in one of these surveys, we may call you to participate. Some surveys are done exclusively by phone. We might also call you if we do not find you at home or when a personal visit is not convenient. You may receive a call from one of our contact centers or from a field representative.

Contact centers, household surveys

For household surveys, the Census Bureau uses two contact centers: one in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and the other in Tucson, Arizona. The caller will identify themselves and the name of the survey. If they are unable to reach you, they will leave a message with a case ID associated with your survey.

Most Census Bureau calls asking you to participate in a survey other than the 2020 Census originate from one of the following numbers:

  • (812) 218-3144, Jeffersonville Contact Center
  • (520) 798-4152, Tucson Contact Center

If you receive a call and wish to independently verify that a number is from the Census Bureau, you can call one of the following numbers:

  • 1-800-523-3205   Jeffersonville, IN
  • 1-800-642-0469   Tucson, AZ
  • 1-800-923-8282   Customer Service Center

Field representatives

Field representatives who do in-person interviews may also call you. To verify that a caller is a Census Bureau field representative, you can enter their name in the Census Bureau Staff Search, a database that lists name and contact information for all Census Bureau employees.

We do not publish the cell phone numbers of our field representatives on our staff search website. Census Bureau field representatives report to one of six Regional Offices across the country.

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