In the coming weeks, more than 30 million people in Germany will be interviewed for the census. However, the police are now warning of scammers. You can find out here how they differ from official interviewers, which information you must disclose and which you do not.

The 2022 census has begun: Since this week, interviewers have been traveling across the country to survey citizens. The census is a population, building and housing census carried out by the statistical offices of the federal and state governments every ten years. Since the survey could not take place last year due to the corona pandemic, it was postponed to this year.

Under the motto “Capturing what is. Shaping what will be” is intended to clarify the census about how many people live in Germany, how they work and how they live, where there may be a lack of roads, day-care centers or subsidized housing. Further information on the exact process of the census can be found here.

However, the police are now urging caution with regard to potential fraudsters who use the surveys for criminal activities. Back in 2011, at the last census, free-riders mingled with the interviewers. “Unfortunately, in the 2011 census, we had to make the experience that people pretended to be survey officers,” reports the Bavarian State Office for Statistics.

You can find more about this topic here.

The police crime prevention of the federal states and the federal government also warns on their website against fraudsters who would pretend to be interviewers. Their goal is to get sensitive data or to get into the apartment or house of the respondents to look for cash, jewelry or other valuables.

There is also a risk that fraudsters will disguise themselves as interviewers in order to ask questions about income, social security number or bank details or other sensitive information. In the 2022 census, however, only questions about the person, education, work and, in case of doubt, the housing situation are asked.

The exact questionnaire can be viewed on the census website. However, if supposed interviewers ask for sensitive information, you should contact the nearest police station or the respective state statistical office.

In addition, the visit of the interviewers is announced in writing. Apartment and house owners are also contacted in advance by post for the building and apartment census by the State Statistical Office. The interview itself will take place over a period of twelve weeks starting May 16 and usually lasts between five and ten minutes.

If you are expecting a visit, but are still unsure whether you are dealing with an official interviewer, you should ask for the appropriate ID including an official photo ID to be shown. The Police Crime Prevention also emphasizes that the interviewers never come by unannounced and always contact you by post with an appointment.

Reliable support in legal conflicts.

Respondents do not have to let the interviewers into their homes. The interview can either be conducted with the survey officer at the door or simply independently online. The interviewer will provide you with online access data for this purpose.