Anchorage, Alaska – March 23, 2010 – "Is this legitimate?" A question some consumers are asking when they receive more than just their 2010 Census in the mail.
As consumers around the U.S. are opening their mailboxes to find the 2010 Census in March, Better Business Bureau reminds recipients to be wary of scams and impersonations claiming to be connected with the U.S. Census, but rest assured that the American Community Survey (ACS) is legitimate.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Community Survey is sent to 250,000 households each month at random, and is separate from the 2010 Census. This survey collects information such as income, commute time to work, housing, veteran status and other data. It replaces the long form of the decennially sent census in previous years.
Differences between the American Community Survey and the 2010 Census:
- The American Community Survey is 48 questions, as opposed to the 2010 Census' ten questions.
- Every household should receive the 2010 Census form, but not every household will receive the American Community Survey.
Similarities between the American Community Survey and the 2010 Census:
- Households who receive these are required by law to respond.
- Recipients are asked to fill these forms out and send them back in the provided postage paid envelopes. With each mailed response, the government saves tax payer money.
- Information collected in both will aid community leaders in deciding where schools, highways, hospitals and other beneficial services are needed.
- Detailed information the Census Bureau receives from both are not shared with anyone else, including other government agencies.
Visit www.census.gov to see examples of the 2010 Census and American Community Survey, and a list of U.S. Census Bureau surveys. Contact the Seattle Regional Census Bureau office to verify the legitimacy of a Census Bureau worker or survey.
Visit www.bbb.org for U.S. Census tips and scam prevention from BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.