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Census workers to begin visiting homes on May 1

Bureau warns of scam artists trying to take advantage of count

Census workers on May 1 will begin visiting households that did not mail back their questionnaires.

The Spokane Census Office has hired 1,400 temporary workers to count 117,000 addresses in the 11 Eastern Washington counties it manages, a census news release said. The North Idaho office hired 1,700 people to count 148,000 households in 18 counties.

The national mail-in participation rate is 72 percent. Washington’s participation rate is 73 percent; Idaho’s is 74 percent, a news release said. Participation has reached 76 percent in Spokane and Kootenai counties.

The U.S. Census Bureau warns that scam artists may try to take advantage of the once-a-decade count. To help residents avoid fraud, the release pointed out ways in which census workers can be identified.

They will present a notice titled “Your Answers Are Confidential,” which explains U.S. Code, Title 13 guaranteeing the confidentiality of census information; they will ask the same questions listed on the 2010 census form; they will never ask to enter a home; they will never ask for money, donations, Social Security or driver’s license numbers, bank account or PIN numbers or citizenship status; and they wear white ID badges with blue and red lettering.

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