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Census fraud

Ahead of the census in 2022, it is likely that scams pretending to be the census will increase.

Some scams may involve letters, text messages and emails demanding payment of a fake £1000 fine.

A common scam is a message that claims information is missing from your census or that there are errors in your submission which need to be confirmed.

These are fake requests from scammers.

If you receive anything suspicious that claims to be from the census, you should contact:

How to spot a scam

Scams almost always ask you for either:

  • payment of money for a fine or fee
  • personal financial information, such as your national insurance number, bank details, or debit and credit card details

We will never ask you for money or personal financial information. So if you do receive something asking for these, you can be sure it is a scam.

How to know something from census is real

We will contact you by letter in early 2022 to ask you to complete the census and tell you what you need to do. After that, we will only phone, email or text you:

  • if you have asked us to
  • if you have requested something

One of our field team may visit you after 20 March 2022 if you have not completed your census questionnaire or if you have been selected for the Census Coverage Survey.

We will never cold call you over the phone for any reason.

Although the census does collect some personal information, it's important to remember:

  • you should only provide this information in your census questionnaire, either online or on paper
  • we will only send you a paper questionnaire if you have asked us for one

After the census

If you've completed your census, you will not be fined. If you wish to report a scam to us, email: dataprotection@nrscotland.gov.uk

When you contact us, please provide as much detail as you can. This could be a telephone number you've been asked to call or a link to the website you've been asked to visit.

We will do our best to resolve your query as quickly as possible.

Read more about how we protect your personal information.