Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey warned the public Friday about a scam in which con artists send emails claiming to be U.S. Census Bureau representatives and ask for information such as Social Security, bank account and credit card account numbers.

“While this year’s census is taking place, be careful that your information doesn’t get into the wrong hands,” Lacey said in a video message posted in connection with her office’s weekly #FraudFriday alert. “Scammers may use this opportunity to try and steal your personal information.”

The district attorney cautioned people to look out for emails that are from someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau.

“While you can complete the census online, the Census Bureau won’t send unsolicited emails and will never ask for your Social Security number or bank or credit card details or ask for money or donations,” Lacey said. “And if you happen to get an email like this, just delete it. Do not click on any links or open any attachments.”

She also cautioned people to verify the identity of anyone going door-to-door and claiming to be with the U.S. Census Bureau by making sure they have a valid identification with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and a valid expiration date. Anyone who has further questions about a worker’s identity can contact the U.S. Census Bureau at 844-330-2020.

Lacey — who noted that it is “important for everyone to participate” in the census — urged the public to call their local law enforcement agency if the person claiming to be a U.S. Census Bureau worker does not actually work for the agency.

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