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Census 2021  cold calls, fake fines and Field Officer scams

Two weeks after the Census 2021 deadline, households who have yet to fill out the questionnaire are being chased up and asked to complete it before fines are issued.

The ONS are sending out Census branded letters to these households and people are being urged to complete their questionnaire as soon as possible in order to avoid being fined up to £1,000. They are also sending out Field Officers to give encouragement to those who haven’t done it and to provide help and to direct them to any support services that they may need.  

Census cold call scams

The ONS has made it clear that residents will only ever be contacted via letter – never phone calls, emails, or text messages.

Scammers have been cold calling people and saying that there has been a mistake on their Census form and trying to fine them over the phone. They’re urging people to pay them via bank transfer on the spot. This payment method offers the least protection if you were to try and get your money back.

For a fine to be imposed, your case must first go to court for non-completion of the Census. You will never be issued a fine over the phone, via email, via text message, or by a Field Officer on your doorstep. You also will not receive a fine for making a mistake on your Census form.

Census Field Officer scams

Census Field Offers are being sent out to households who haven’t yet filled in their questionnaire in order to give encouragement and any support that they need to avoid people being issued a fine and facing a criminal record.

Field Officers won’t get in touch with you before turning up at your door, and you do not have to arrange an appointment with them. All genuine Field Officers will be carrying ID and will be wearing Census branded high vis.

They do not need to enter your home and the only information that they need is your name. They will ask for your phone number if you need a new code to fill out the Census online.

Field Officers do not need to see any personal documents like passports, payslips, or birth certificates, and they do not need your national insurance number.   

Most importantly, genuine Field Officers will never ask for any form of payment either in exchange for their help or to file a missed or late Census. They also cannot issue fines.

What to do if you’ve fallen for a Census scam

If you think that you’ve fallen for a Census related scam then you must report it to Action Fraud as soon as possible. If you have sent money to a fraudster then you must also contact your bank as they may be able to get your money back. 

 

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