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Office for National Statistics issues advice after trading standards alert over Census 2021 'fine' scam

Trading standards officers are warning people to beware of a scam involving the national Census 2021 which in some cases have resulted in victims losing money.

An alert issued through Hertfordshire police's Owl Watch Link revealed a caller purporting to be from the local authority had suggested the individual’s Census form was completed incorrectly and they had to pay a fine.

The caller asked for basic identification details, which they said was to confirm the Census record, and the individual’s bank details so they could process the fine.

Trading Standards officers are warning over a census scam (45152546)
Trading Standards officers are warning over a census scam (45152546)

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) is aware of similar scams in other parts of the country where money has been taken from an individual’s bank account.

It has warned that this type of personal information would never be requested. Residents will be contacted about the Census only by letter – never by phone or text message.

The ONS further advised that when filling in the Census you will be asked for personal information such as your date of birth, your occupation and where you live, but you will never be asked to provide your National Insurance number or financial details.

People wishing to report attempted scams should go to www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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