Census scam warning given to households as Census day 2021 draws near

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  • Census scam warnings have been given to households as Census Day 2021 approaches.

    Census scams are likely to be on the rise as households are warned about the risks in the coming days as the Census day 2021 approaches.

    Every 10 years, the government sends out a questionnaire for households to complete about various things from how many people live at their property to what they do for a living and how they travel to work. And while ignoring the 2021 Census form could cost you a £1,000 fine, people are being urged to be vigilant when giving their information.

    With the 21st March deadline drawing near for the compulsory forms to be returned or filled in online, people are being warned to be wary of scams and Census scam warnings have been issued.

    From March 22 field census officers will be knocking on doors and helping non-responders with any queries but this is where scam artists are most likely to operate, by posing to be officials.

    Census 2021

    As a result, Oxfordshire Trading Standards have moved to warn people of potential scams and have told people what to look out for to keep their details safe.

    They said, “All officers will be carrying official identification cards. The card will have a photograph and the officer’s name.

    “The officers will work through the day to make contact with residents but will not call before 09:00 or after 20:00. Census officers will never ask for any money or bank details at any point during the conversation with respondents.”

    The Census scam warnings continued, “All Census officers will work in a socially distanced way; they will all be wearing PPE and they will not enter anyone’s home. The Office for National Statistics has several important studies and surveys continuing alongside the census.

    “It is, therefore, possible that an address will be visited by staff working on other surveys too. Any member of the public concerned that the person on their doorstep is not a census officer can call the number on the critical workers letter that the officer can show them.”

    The Census Act 1920 makes it compulsory for everyone in England and Wales to participate in the census. Those who fail to fulfil this legal requirement to complete the questionnaire risk being fined up to £1,000, as it is a criminal offence.

    It is also a criminal offence to supply incorrect information, so make sure to be accurate when filling it out.

    Following the Census scam warnings, if you have spotted a scam or have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber-crime. You can visit the website (www.actionfraud.police.uk) or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40.

    Alternatively, for advice, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service: You can visit the website (www.citizensadvice.org.uk) or call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for a Welsh-speaking advisor.

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