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BBB warns of 2020 Census Bureau employment scams

Posted at 4:10 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 17:10:59-05

The Better Business Bureau recently asked consumers to be aware of census bureau scammers at their door, mailbox, and email. Now, BBB, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and U.S. Census Bureau are warning those individuals who are looking for employment to be on guard for census job scams.

The FTC says they have partnered with Census Bureau to help job seekers know the recruiting and hiring process to help them spot, avoid, and report scams.

The Census Bureau is recruiting to fill temporary positions across the country, but there are two key tips you should know:

  • No application fees: Anyone asking for a fee to help you get a Census Bureau job is a scammer. Federal agencies never charge application fees.
  • You can only apply online: The only way to apply for 2020 Census positions is through the Bureau's website 2020census.gov/jobs. You will need to provide the following information during the application process:
  1. Social Security number
  2. Home address (physical location and mailing address)
  3. Email address and phone number
  4. Date and place of birth

Verify that you are on the Census Bureau website before you give out your personal information.

The Census Bureau gives the following information if you have questions about 2020 Census Jobs or technical issues with your application:

Contact the Census Bureau's Jobs Line at 1-855-JOB-2020 (1-855-562-2020).

Select Option 1: For technical help with your job application or hiring documents.
Select Option 3: To speak to a local Census Bureau representative.

BBB also shares these tips to help avoid employment scams:

· Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service rep. Positions that don't require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads. If the job posting is for a well-known brand/government agency, check the real company's job page to see if the position is posted there. Look online; if the job comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it's likely a scam.

· Different procedures should raise your suspicion. Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring. Don't fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask for money to be wired elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers. And be cautious sharing personal information or any kind of pre-payment. Be careful if a company promises you great opportunities or big income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.

· Government agencies post all jobs publicly and freely. The U.S. and Canadian federal governments and the U.S. Postal Service/Canada Postal Service never charge for information about jobs or applications for jobs. Be wary of any offer to give you special access or guarantee you a job for a fee - if you are paying for the promise of a job, it's probably a scam.

· Get all details and contracts in writing. A legitimate recruiter will provide you with a complete contract for their services with cost, what you get, who pays (you or the employer), and what happens if you do not find a job.

If you suspect a census job scam, report it to rumors@census.gov and to the FTC. You can also report the scam to BBB at bbb.org/scamtracker.

BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry, and Vermilion.