NewsLet Joe Know


Are the Census Bureau forms being sent out really legitimate?

Posted at 4:24 PM, Jun 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-06 21:32:45-04
You may have gotten a letter supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau asking for more information. 
Some of you want to know if it's real. 
I thought the census was over. Didn't you?
Remember all the hype, the people coming to your doors, concerns about answering personal questions?
That was four years ago.
So what are these census forms being sent out to Valley people.. now?
Jane sent me an e-mail saying she received something "from the U.S. Census. I need to log on and fill out the form."
Frances says, "I am to complete what is called the American Community Survey online. I want to be sure this is a legitimate request and not some scam."
First of all, congratulations.
Jane and Frances both questioned this before giving any information.
But in this case, it is not a scam.
It's legitimate.
I found the population and housing census was the massive one done in 2010 and it's completed every 10 years.
But the American Community survey is done every year. 
That's the one raising questions now.
The survey samples a small population every year and asks questions about age, income, health benefits, education and other questions.
They say the information is used to help determine where more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed.
And yes, its mandatory. The website says "you are legally obligated to answer all the questions as accurately as you can."
But they should not ask you for your Social Security number!
Do you need my help?
Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 855-323-1515.
Also, if you want to be part of the problem solving volunteer, the League is having an informational meeting Monday, June 9 at 10 a.m.
It will be at the Philanthropic Center, 9224 N. 5th Street in Phoenix.
Please call  602-448-1855 or you can e-mail  and let them know you're interested.
You can also e-mail me about any consumer issue, send me a tweet @letjoeknowor "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.