Consumer Alert: BBB warns consumers about scammers preying on US Census and stimulus confusion

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) – The Better Business Bureau has a warning about scammers using confusion around the 2020 US Census and Coronavirus stimulus checks to their advantage.

Scammers are using the 2020 census and questions regard those stimulus checks to stir up confusion to get your personal information.

“What we’re seeing is people getting information that they need to fill out their census before they can receive any funds from the federal government for COVID-19 and right there is the scam,” said Roseann Freitas, BBB Hawaii Marketplace Manger. “The census has nothing to do with that COVID-19 money at all.”

The scam comes in many different forms including emails, texts and even social media.

“So first, the federal government does not threaten you you need to remember that. They also will not text you, they rarely email you the only time would be if you had indicated you wanted to receive an email however for the Census you will receive something in your regular mail.”

Some versions of the fake message include a link to a website “for more information.”

“What can happen is if you click on it it can download malware onto your phone which now can give you access with so much personal information but also at the same time it will redirect you to this website.”

That website may look like the official US Census Bureau site, but it’s fake. If you want to find more information online, make sure you’re using official government websites.

If you fall victim to this scam you should report it to the US Census Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission.

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