Don’t be conned by Census scam

Callers claiming to be from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) are using the Census to swindle personal information from unsuspecting Australians.

Scammers are calling Australians and stating that, due to the problems with the 2016 Census, they are available to help them complete their forms over the phone.

“We just need some basic details such as your name, date of birth, address and licence number,” they ask.

Many older Australians who have requested paper Census forms – either because of their discomfort using computers or distrust of the system – would seemingly be prime targets for this type of ‘phishing’ scam.

Many of these calls occurred prior to Census night on 9 August, with scammers then promising to phone back to help fill out the form.

The ABS has confirmed that it will not phone anyone to complete the Census over the phone, saying that anyone who needs help should ask a trusted family member or friend.

Census workers and field officers should also be clearly identifiable with an ID badge and a bright yellow satchel.

Have you received any calls about the Census? Are you aware of this scam?

Related articles:
Census reboot – is it safe yet?
Census back online after bungle
Census farce is no laughing matter

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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