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Criminals are posing as census workers to obtain bank details, ID numbers

A Census 2022 billboard on Kgosi Mampuru Steet in Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency(ANA)

A Census 2022 billboard on Kgosi Mampuru Steet in Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency(ANA)

Published Feb 22, 2022

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DURBAN - Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has issued a warning for the public to be aware of criminals that are posing as census field staff in an attempt to collect personal information for illegal purposes.

Stats SA said in a statement on its website that a respondent in Ekurhuleni had alerted it that two women posing as census field staff had requested ID numbers and banking details.

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“The couple became suspicious at this and requested that they leave immediately. They were not able to get the alleged fieldworkers’ IDs to verify their legitimacy.”

Stats SA said it was not the first time such a method had been used by criminals to gain access to households.

It said in August 2021, households in Giyani in Limpopo were subjected to a similar scam, with some households reportedly losing money in the process.

Stats SA said the public should be aware that its census staff will not ask households for their ID numbers, banking details, pins, etc.

“This is not part of the information we collect. We do ask for contact details from households, in case we need to verify information collected, or in case the household is selected to participate in the Post-Enumeration Survey (PES), which happens immediately after the census.”

Stats SA said members of the public can check a field worker’s credentials:

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– Check that the person at your door has a legitimate Stats SA ID. Fieldworkers can be verified on the online Fieldworker Verification System https://migration.statssa.gov.za/Fieldworkerverification/home.php or by contacting the call centre on 0800 110 248.

Any fraudulent activity call also be reported on the toll-free number 0800 110 248.

Meanwhile, Stats SA announced that households who registered to complete the census questionnaire online have until Friday, February 25, to do so. Registration for remote data collection closed on February 21, 2021.

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“While more than 400 000 households had registered for online questionnaire completion, only 25% (just over 100 000) have actually completed the questionnaire online. Households who complete the questionnaire online will be visited by a fieldworker to verify that the questionnaire has been completed.

“Fieldworkers will continue visiting households to collect census data from those who have not registered as well as those who have not completed the online questionnaire.”

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