A number of Carson City
residents were disturbed recently by a letter claiming to be from the U.S.
Census Bureau asking them to participate in a survey separate and more detailed
than the normal Census questionnaire.
Several of them expressed concern
it was from a scammer rather than the Census Bureau including one lady who
called Carson Sheriff Ken Furlong about it.
But the Attorney General’s
Consumer Protection Bureau says the letter is legit.
The bureau’s Chief Deputy
Mark Krueger assigned one of his team to find out whether the so-called “SIPP”
survey is real or a scam.
“We had an investigator look
into the letter and have concluded it is legitimate,” Krueger said after the
He said they also contacted
the Census fraud office where they were advised the letter is real and from the
Krueger said there it’s
likely some who got the letter tried to look up the web address it provided but
included the carat at the end of that address. That error causes the recipient
to be directed to a web page that doesn’t exist, “which understandably caused
alarm,” he said.
The reason some were so
upset, said Furlong, is that the letter advises a caller will contact them with
questions that are more extensive and, potentially personal, than the regular
Census form asks. The letter says that information is important to provide
policymakers with data to evaluate “the future needs of the Social Security
system, changes to an the effectiveness of programs like the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program and the impact of changes to health insurance and
the cost of medical care.”
“People are so afraid to give
out any personal information these days,” said Furlong, adding that they have
every reason to be given the efforts of scammers.