Warning on census email scam
Published: Friday 27th January 12
Officials at the Office for National Statistics have issued a warning to the public today (Friday) after it emerged that fraudsters were using an email scam about the census to try and elicit people’s personal information.
Fraudsters are said to have sent out an email entitled 'Population Census: a message to everyone - act now' to large numbers of people up and down the country.
The email poses a series of personal questions and threatens legal action against those who don't respond.
But today the ONS stated that the email was a scam that had been sent out by criminals.
The Director of the 2011 Census Glen Watson said: "We are aware that an email is being circulated, allegedly in the name of National Statistician, Jil Matheson. This email demands individuals provide further personal information, supposedly for the Census and threatens fines for non-compliance.
"This email is a scam and a hoax. It has no connection whatsoever with the National Statistician, the 2011 Census or the Office for National Statistics.
"We believe the links in the email could download malware to any computer where the user clicks on the links. This could put your personal data, including financial information, at risk.
"Anyone receiving this, or similar emails, should delete them, not open any links and certainly not provide any information.
"The ONS takes the protection of personal census information extremely seriously. Collection of census data was completed last year and no further requests will be forthcoming from the Office for National Statistics relating to the 2011 Census."
For more information on how to protect yourself from this type of online threat, visit http://www.getsafeonline.org/
Anyone who receives this or other suspicious emails can report them to http://www.actionfraud.org.uk/