Beware of bogus census workers

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CENSUS day, Sunday, March 27, is just around the corner and people everywhere will be filling in their forms ready to return as part of the government-led scheme.

However, the Safer Lancashire Board is encouraging people to beware of bogus census workers who may try to falsely obtain people’s personal details.

The warning comes amid reports of a bogus census worker who has recently been picked up by police in Leicestershire.

From Monday, March 21, bona fide census staff will be visiting residents to carry out pre-arranged visits.

They will be clearly identifiable because they will be carrying an Office for National Statistics (ONS) badge.

Residents can easily identify official census workers by their ID badge which contains a photo and the Office For National Statistics logo.

When they visit a household, they will automatically show their ID badge and explain they are visiting in connection with the census.

When visiting a resident’s home, they will not ask for any personal details such as bank account numbers, national insurance details, or credit card numbers.

Anyone knocking on a door and asking to enter a person’s home without an official identification badge and where the home visit has not been prearranged by the householder, is NOT an authorised member of the census staff.

Residents are strongly advised not to allow unauthorised people into their homes.

They are also advised to call the Police Contact Centre line on 0845 125 3545

From late March, official census workers will be out and about visiting people who have not completed their census form.

County Councillor David Smith, chair of the Safer Lancashire Partnership, said: “Anyone who is unsure about a census official should either contact the census helpline on 0300 0201 101 or the police on the non emergency number 08451 253545 or visit www.lancashire.police.uk

Advice is also available on preventing doorstep crime at www.saferlancashire.co.uk/2011/safe/index.asp?siteid=5550&pageid=30651&e=e