Census Survey Causing Alarm at First Glance
(Collierville, TN) Giving out your information can be very dangerous if you hand it over to the wrong person.
One Collierville family felt they were being preyed on by a potential scam artist, but it turns out the questionnaire they got is a part of the Census bureau’s legitimate survey.
Every year about 3 million people across the United States get a packet from the American Community Survey.
And the questions inside can be a little surprising if you don’t don’t know who they’re coming from.
Chip and Catherine Hurdle got an official census bureau survey in the mail. When they opened it up they were a little surprised.
“All of the questions started getting a little bit too personal,” said Catherine Hurdle.
The survey asked pages and pages of questions like where do you how many rooms are in your house, what time do you leave for work and how long to you stay there.
This sent up red flags for the Hurdles.
“I’ve filled out a bunch of those over the years but nothing was as this as this thing was. This survey was a good half-inch thick,” said Chip Hurdle.
They never sent the forms back and even shredded them. But then they started getting follow-up letters and even phone calls.
“Five phone calls three letters two packages of census information,” said Catherine Hurdle.
Hurdle finally told them they were not interested, “Finally just said you know what, if you need to sic the federal government on us sic them. I’d be happy for them to show up at the front door so they can ask me the questions themselves.”
Though the questions in the survey sent up red flags it is a part of the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
The questionnaire goes out to only two percent of American households a year.
A representative from the Census Bureau emphasized to me all answers are confidential and not given to anyone.
The point of the survey is to give a snapshot of the community as a whole, and that snapshot could determine what federal money a city gets.
That explains so of the concerns about the commute questions.
“I don’t care. I just don’t think it’s information big brother needs to know about our home. I spend entirely too much money in a year’s time to keep us secure,” said Hurdle.
There are scam artists out there, but if you get one of the survey’s you can give the census bureau a call if you get one of these surveys to make sure it is in fact from the federal government.
The survey will have a case number on it and you can identify it that way.