Chicago Residents Find Ways to Avoid Identity Theft during the 2010 Census

There's a reason you might want to fill out your 2010 Census carefully and soon. And it's not just because doing so can help your community get more federal funding, according to Chicago bankruptcy lawyers.

Dragging your feet increases the chances that a census worker will call to check up on you. That in itself isn't the problem - scam artists are. See, in the past people have posed as census workers to gather sensitive personal information, like social security, bank account and credit card numbers. By putting off the census - or by being careless about who you interact with - you could be increasing your identity theft risk.

Fortunately, it's easy to tell official census workers and materials from the frauds.

For instance, the 2010 Census form only asks 10 short questions - and none of them are about your finances. If you don't fill out the form soon - or if the government has any questions about your answers - a census worker could give you a call. So how do you tell if they're the real deal? Easy. They'll only ask you about those 10 questions - nothing more.

In some cases, a census worker might knock on your door. Again, they shouldn't ask about anything other than the official census questions. If you're unsure about their identity, ask to see their government badge, or to check the name on their badge against the name on their ID. Still uncertain? Call the Regional Census Center in Chicago to find out for sure. There are some things real census workers will never do - that includes contacting you by e-mail, directing you to fill out the form online or asking for money.

Identity theft isn't just a hassle - it's also expensive. Avoiding scams is one way to protect your money and your credit history. Another is to eliminate debt. While debt is legal, it isn't cheap. By paying off more of your debt burden, you'll lower your balance and the amount of interest you pay each month. Can't afford to pay off more of your balance? Bankruptcy can help. Why not let a bankruptcy attorney in Chicago identify a bankruptcy plan that meets your needs with our free personal debt analysis?

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