Census Bureau warns of scam tying responses to stimulus checks

Census Bureau warns of scam tying responses to stimulus checks

The Census Bureau issued a statement Saturday responding to a rash of social media posts claiming that responses to the census could make Americans eligible for stimulus checks issued by the government.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Census officials issued a statement responding to rumors circulating on Facebook and Twitter falsely claiming that Americans who respond to the census would be eligible to receive cash rewards from the government.

Congress and the Trump administration have discussed the possibility of issuing such checks to Americans in recent days as part of a stimulus package to be passed in response to the coronavirus epidemic, which has shuttered businesses nationwide.

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“Your answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for any government benefits, including any potential stimulus package,” the Census Bureau said, according to the AP.

The Census Bureau has already suspended operations for the remainder of March as officials seek to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. with guidelines urging social distancing and working from home, warning that even asymptomatic carriers can spread the disease to others.

“During this pause in field operations, the Census Bureau will continue to evaluate all 2020 Census operations,” the bureau said. “Should any additional adjustments need to be made, the Census Bureau will communicate these changes broadly and promptly.”