MACON, Ga. — Census Bureau employees have started walking through neighborhoods around the country checking addresses not verified by their computer software.
Some people in Jones County are worried that questions the census takers are asking aren't legit.
So what makes it real or a scam? For this answer, we turned to the US Census Bureau.
Through mid-October, you might see census employees walking around your neighborhood knocking on doors.
If they show up to your doorstep, you may be wondering, what type of questions they'll ask.
People in Jones County say they were asked about the setup of their house, but is that normal? We set out to verify.
"They find out how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms based on the type of housing in a particular area," says Jake Cox.
Cox works for a census counting committee in Houston County. He says this is the job of an address canvasser.
"If they find that most of the houses in this area have three, four, five bedrooms, they understand that the housings costs more over in this area than, say, other areas," says Cox.
On the US Census Bureau website, they say workers are trying to get an accurate and complete count by verifying address lists across a wide area of physical geography, housing structures, and residence types.
We verified, asking about rooms in a house is a legitimate question by these workers.
"They will not ask for your Social Security Number, they won't ask for your date of birth, they won't ask for your banking account number, anything like that," says Cox.
Cox says you can identify a census worker by what they wear and what they carry.
Just like a 13WMAZ reporter would have a proper ID, so would someone working with the census. If you don't see one, send them on their way, shut the door, and lock up.
At the end of the day, Cox says these workers want the most accurate data possible for the 2020 census.
"Your home address is on the tax assessors website. I mean, your information is already out -- they're just compiling this information for everybody's benefit," says Cox
If you do get a visit from a census worker, you can report suspected scams to the regional census bureau office serving your state and to the Federal Trade Commission.
The best way to avoid being visited at home is to fill out your 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. Households will receive an invitation to begin participating in the census by April 1, 2020.
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