PEOPLE in England and Wales are being warned to be wary of scams ahead of Census Day 2021.

Every 10 years all households across England and Wales are asked to complete a questionnaire about their lifestyle and living situation, known as the Census.

The survey offers a unique insight into the nation’s population and the society we live in, and is intended to help organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services.

From March 22 field census officers will be knocking on doors and helping non-responders with any queries.

Oxfordshire Trading Standards have moved to warn people of potential scams and have told people what to look out for to keep their details safe.

The said: “All officers will be carrying official identification cards.
“The card will have a photograph and the officer’s name.
“The officers will work through the day to make contact with residents but will not call before 09:00 or after 20:00. 
“Census officers will never ask for any money or bank details at any point during the conversation with respondents.”
They added things to be aware of if anyone approaches their home.

“All Census officers will work in a socially distanced way; they will all be wearing PPE and they will not enter anyone’s home,” they said.
“The Office for National Statistics has several important studies and surveys continuing alongside the census. It is, therefore, possible that an address will be visited by staff working on other surveys too.  
“Any member of the public concerned that the person on their doorstep is not a census officer can call the number on the critical workers letter that the officer can show them.”

When is the census due?

The 2021 Census is due on Sunday 21 March, and only applies to households in England and Wales.

The census in Scotland has been pushed back to 2022 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The date for a census in Northern Ireland is yet to be announced.

How is it carried out?

The survey is recorded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and will, for the first time, this year be conducted primarily online.

The ONS’ target is to have 75 per cent of census returns completed online, with the remainder completed on traditional paper forms.

Most households will receive a unique code in the post which will allow them to complete their census returns online.

Census questions are modified at each time it is carried out in order to reflect the needs of the time, although the 2021 census will be largely similar to the 2011 census, with questions about age, ethnicity, religion,employment and relationships.

However, three new questions have been included this year including veteran status, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The ONS aims to publish an initial set of census reports one year after it has taken place, and to make all outputs available within two years.

Is the census compulsory?

The Census Act 1920 makes it compulsory for everyone in England and Wales to participate in the census.

Those who fail to fulfil this legal requirement to complete the questionnaire risk being fined up to £1,000, as it is a criminal offence.

It is also a criminal offence to supply incorrect information, so make sure to be accurate when filling it out.

More information on the 2021 census can be found on the government website.

What to do if you suspect fraud

REPORT: Action Fraud: If you have spotted a scam or have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber-crime. You can visit the website ( or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40.
ADVICE: Citizens Advice Consumer Service: You can visit the website ( or call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for a Welsh-speaking advisor.