Officials warn of possible ID theft in census count



The Grand Junction census office is hiring for a variety of temporary positions for applicants who:

• Can read, write and speak English.

• Can prove U.S. citizenship or are legal U.S. residents or noncitizens with a work visa.

• Are at least 18 years old.

• Have a valid driver’s license and Social Security number.

• Can pass a background check and a written test of basic skills.

• Can commit to four paid days of training to be held in the daytime, evening or weekend hours.

For information or to arrange for testing, call 866-861-2010 or 970-361-3711.

While recruitment has begun in Grand Junction for the 2010 census, the Better Business Bureau warns of the potential for con artists and identity theft over the coming months.

Legitimate census counters will not be asking for Social Security numbers, bank account or credit card information. Nor will they be soliciting donations, the bureau said in a news release.

Residents are likely to be contacted via mail, telephone or in person by someone with the census.

The workers knocking on doors “will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag and a confidentiality notice,” the release said.

Some 120 million households nationwide should receive a 10-question form in the mail by early March, said Leo Cardenas, spokesman for the count in Colorado.

Those residences that don’t respond will receive a follow-up postcard in the mail, followed by up to three phone calls if there’s still no response.

At that point, workers will knock on doors.

“If that still doesn’t work, we contact neighbors and ask for a count estimate only,” Cardenas said.

Cardenas said Grand Junction’s census office, 573 W. Crete Circle, Building 1, Unit 105, will be hiring the largest pool of workers among all of Colorado’s eight offices.

Recruitment is under way to fill some 1,300 employees.

Pueblo, with approximately 400 employees, is the second largest, Cardenas said.

Cardenas said the high numbers in Grand Junction reflect the office’s large area of responsibility: 20 counties in predominantly rural areas, including tribal lands.

“We anticipate having to physically go to more addresses there than in other parts of the state,” he said.

Census takers will generally work between 20 and 40 hours weekly, depending on each person’s availability.


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