Several alert readers sent us this advertisement that ran on the front page of CNN.com today. Wait–is the census going to steal my identity? Is my name, race, and birthdate all someone needs to open a credit card in my name? No. You do not need identity theft protection because of the census. Equifax has just mashed up some good information about how to avoid census scams with a sales pitch for credit monitoring services.
The banner ad’s destination, the Census Scam Awareness Center, is a little confusing. Its overall message seems to be that the census is good and you should participate (true), that identity theft is bad and you should take precautions and watch your credit reports (also true) and that bad people might be pretending to be census workers to steal your personal information (quite true.) However, Consumerist already told you all of these things for free. For example: