Census Bureau letter asking people to participate in special survey is legit

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 review.

He said they also contacted the Census fraud office where they were advised the letter is real and from the Census Bureau.

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.


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