Trading Standards has issued a warning following reports of fraudsters taking advantage of the upcoming Census to trick people into giving out personal information.

Trading Standards issued the warning after receiving reports from victims who say they have been contacted by someone claiming to be acting on behalf of the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Bexley Council have issued a scam warning, with reports of victims across the UK emerging.

The scammer suggested that the individual's Census form was completed incorrectly, and they had to pay a fine. The caller asked for basic identification and bank details which they said was to confirm the Census record and so they could process the fine.

Scam alert from Bexley Council

Scam alert from Bexley Council

The ONS are aware of similar scams in other parts of the country where money has been taken from an individual’s bank account.

The ONS will shortly be carrying out the genuine Census 2021 across England and Wales. Census Day is this Sunday (21 March).

After Census Day, genuine officers will be knocking on doors following up on non-responders and helping with queries.

The ONS has several other important studies and surveys continuing alongside the census so it is possible that residents will be visited by staff working on other surveys too.

Please remember all genuine ONS Census officers:

  • carry official identification cards which will have a photograph and the officer’s name
  • will work in a socially distanced way and will be wearing PPE
  • should be wearing branded Hi-vis
  • will not call before 9am or after 8pm
  • will never ask for any money or bank details
  • will not enter anyone's home

If you're concerned that you have been contacted by someone who is not a genuine Census officer, call the ONS Public Contact Centre on 0800 141 2021.

To report fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use the online fraud reporting tool.