GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Some of you may have recently received something called the American Community Survey in the mail.

A viewer called us saying she did and wanted to know if the survey is legitimate. She said she received the survey, but did not fill it out because she was concerned it may be a scam. When she didn't return the survey, she said she received a postcard stating that she must do so and that it's the law.

She asked us to Verify if that's true. We discovered the American Community Survey is indeed legitimate.

The American Community Survey is sent to 1 in 38 homes in the U.S. each year. And, while it asks a lot of personal questions, your answers can help the government decide how to distribute hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds.

We checked with a public information officer at the United States Census Bureau, and yes, you are required by law to fill out the survey if you receive it. If you don't, you could be fined up to $5,000.

The survey can be filled out online if preferred.

The Census Bureau says it will never reveal your identity to anyone. To help protect your privacy, it says the American Community Survey will never ask for your Social Security number or credit card information.

You can learn more about the survey, by logging onto

Remember, if there's something you'd like us to Verify just send an email to


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