April 1st is April Fool’s Day, but this message is NOT a joke. Do not get taken during this time of 2010 Census information collection. The Census Bureau will not be the only ones trying to get our attention and encouraging us to help them collect data. Cybercriminals will be doing the same thing, but they will be trying to fool us into thinking they are the Census Bureau. And the data they will be collecting will be a little different. It will be personal information they can use to rip us off. There are a couple of key words to point out: “mail” and “at-home visit.” The census will primarily be a paper and pencil process, with, according this Census webpage: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php, there is no part of the census form available to be filled out online. So, we encourage computer users to be very wary of any online communications—including emails and social networking messages—that you receive regarding the census, particularly any that ask you to click on a link or URL, open an attachment or respond with personal information, because these could very likely be scams. Even clicking on a link simply to see if it takes them to a legitimate site can be very hazardous, since many of today’s malware infections occur via drive-by download attacks, in which all a user does is simply visit a malicious or compromised website. If you receive any online communication regarding the census, the best thing to do is simply give the U.S. Census Bureau a call and ask them to confirm that they sent you a message, or ask them to simply take care of the matter over the phone if possible.
New Fiction includes: “Chaosbound” by David Farland; “The Accidental Werewolf” by Dakota Cassidy; “Strange Candy” by Laurell K. Hamilton; “The Wedding Machine” by Beth Webb Hart; “Between Sundays” by Karen Kingsbury; “The Swan Thieves” by Elizabeth Kostova; “Cowgirl At Heart” by Christine Lynxwiler; “My Son, John” by Kathi Macias; “Vanishing Act” by Fern Michaels.
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