We saw it with the 2010 Census: scammers lying to people about the availability of jobs as census takers, and charging fees to help people get those jobs. If history is any indication, the scammers will likely be back at it for the 2020 Census.

The FTC is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to help you guard against potential census job scams. Knowing how the recruiting and hiring process works will help you spot, avoid, and report scams.

The Census Bureau is recruiting to fill hundreds of thousands of temporary field and office positions across the country. Pay rates vary by position and location. There are two main tips to know:

  • There is no fee to apply. Anyone who asks for a fee to help you get a Census Bureau job is a scammer. In fact, you never have to pay for information about job vacancies or employment opportunities with the U.S. government. What’s more, federal agencies never charge application fees or guarantee that an applicant will be hired.
  • Go to the Census Bureau’s website at 2020census.gov/jobs to complete an online application. The only way to apply for 2020 Census positions is through this website. The online application includes questions about your education, work, and other experience. You’ll need to give the following information to get started:
    • Social Security number
    • Home address (physical location and mailing address)
    • Email address and phone number
    • Date and place of birth

Be sure you’re on the Census Bureau website before you give these details. For more information, visit 2020census.gov/jobs.

If you have general questions about 2020 Census jobs or technical issues with your application, contact the Census Bureau’s Jobs Line at 1-855-JOB-2020 (1-855-562-2020).

  • Select Option 1: For technical help with your job application or hiring documents.
  • Select Option 3: To speak to a local Census Bureau representative.

And if you suspect a census job scam, report it to rumors@census.gov and to the Federal Trade Commission.