March 22, 2011
issue warning over bogus door-to-door census collectors
are warning residents in the Burnham-On-Sea area to beware of
bogus callers posing as census collectors over the next few days.
The census is a count of the population in the UK that takes
place every 10 years and this year it is happening on March 27th.
Every householder across the country is legally required to fill
out a questionnaire on the same day to give a complete picture
of the nation.
The job of census field staff is to speak to householders who
have not filled in their forms, and they may call on people once
all returned forms are processed.
Although there have been no cases of this kind in Somerset, the
advice follows a recent complaint to Trading Standards about a
bogus caller trying to enter someone's house by posing as a census
PC Andy Williams, who works on the Avon and Somerset police team
that tackles distraction burglary, said: "In our experience,
fraudsters will take advantage of any situation to con people
or to access homes to steal, and the opportunity presented by
the census is no exception."
"We are urging people to only answer the questions in the
census form. They should not disclose credit card or bank details
and not pay any money to anyone claiming to be from the census.
Remember, if you are not sure, don't open the door."
A spokesperson for the Office for National Statistics, which
is carrying out the census, said: "Residents who return their
completed questionnaires promptly are unlikely to be contacted
by the census field staff, and all census staff will produce an
ID card with a photo and logo. They may ask for name and number
of residents, but they will not ask for specific details, like
credit card details and bank account numbers."
"If you're unsure about a caller, close the door and ring
the census helpline on 0300 0201 101, to verify whether it is
a genuine census call. If you do think you've had a bogus call,
ring the Police. If you find that you are a victim of a bogus
caller, ring Consumer Direct on 0845 404 0506."