Courts & Crime

In Florida, fake Census takers causing identity theft

The U.S. Census does not officially begin until April, but identity thieves have already used the event to rip off unsuspecting South Florida residents.

The thieves, passing themselves off as Census takers, have talked their way into Miami-Dade homes and then have asked for sensitive, personal information that the Census does not collect, according to police.

That information includes Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and personal identification numbers, which can be later used to wipe out accounts or run up credit card debt.

Also, once inside, the impostors have asked for a glass of water or to use the restroom. When the home's tenants are out of sight, they have stolen cash and jewelry.

Additionally, mass e-mails falsely claiming to be from the Census have been sent out requesting recipients' personal information, which would actually be used to open fraudulent accounts.

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