Warning of false e-mail ‘linked’ to 2011 Census

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RESIDENTS are being warned to ignore scam e-mails regarding last year’s 2011 Census.

Northumberland County Council’s public protection department has been alerted to the online correspondence entitled ‘Population Census: a message to everyone – act now’.

The county’s trading standards officers are sending out a warning issued by the director of the 2011 Census, Glen Watson.

It has been reported that the hoax e-mail, allegedly in the name of national statistician Jil Matheson, demands individuals provide further personal information, supposedly for the census, and it threatens fines for non-compliance.

Mr Watson said: “This e-mail 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 e-mail could download malware to any computer where the user clicks on the links.

“This could put your personal data, including financial information, at risk.

Jimmy Power, business and consumer protection manager at the council, said: “I would repeat Mr Watson’s advice that anyone receiving this, or similar e-mails, should delete them, not open any links and certainly not provide any information.”

For more information on how to protect yourself from this type of threat, please see www.getsafeonline.org

If anyone receives one of the suspicious e-mails they should report it to www.actionfraud.org.uk

The Office of National Statistics said it takes the protection of personal census information seriously.

Collection of data was done last year and no further requests will be made.