Looks like some very clever property tax scamsters are still active in L.A. -- but are only now spreading out to Northern California. Just before their spring property taxes were due, many Angelenos received an official-looking mailing from something called Property Tax Reassessment, based in Los Angeles. Written to resemble a property tax bill, complete with an assessor's I.D. number for the targeted property, the letter announces that it's believed the recipient's property is over-assessed. After warning the recipient that he or she could be paying more property tax than necessary, the letter offers to get the homeowners a hefty lower reassessment. All they have to do is pay a $179 service charge. As Consumerist noted a few months back, PTR even threatens a "late fee" if the applicant missed February 26 "deadline."
It's all very official-looking -- except, that is, for the post office box number appearing as a return address for Property Tax Reassessment's "regional processing center." (Probably the same place they store those trapped Nigerian bank funds.)
Today the Associated Press
reports county offices in Shasta, El Dorado, Placer, Tehama and other
counties are receiving hundreds of phone calls about these mailings.
The AP quotes Sacramento County Assistant Assessor Kathleen Kelleher as
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saying such frauds often emerge in times of falling property values.
If you receive this kind of offer, toss it out or use it for a drink
coaster. Believe it or not, there are some people in this world who
won't give you something for nothing.