Scam alert: Property tax 'help' letter

POLK COUNTY -- The Polk County Assessor's Office and the Oregon Department of Justice are warning local residents and Oregonians statewide about a scam involving letters asking for money up front to f



POLK COUNTY -- The Polk County Assessor's Office and the Oregon Department of Justice are warning local residents and Oregonians statewide about a scam involving letters asking for money up front to file an appeal of the value on property tax statements.

The letters are a scam, said Douglas Schmidt, Polk County Assessor, and property owners do not need to pay money to have their value reviewed by the assessor in Polk or any other county in Oregon.

The letters that Schmidt and the state said their offices have seen recently are from a company called Property Tax Adjusters in Granada Hills, Calif. The company asks you to pay a "service fee" of $189 in advance to act as your agent.

The letters have an official-sounding name and offer to help reduce property taxes for a fee. Misleading mailers can look like official government agency documents. The mailers seek to trick you into sending them money. They also use addresses like "Regional Processing Center" to make you think the mail is coming from a government agency.

Sometimes, mailers threaten to impose a late fee if you don't send them money by a certain date.

For more information, click on the following link to the Oregon Department of Justice, http://www.doj.state.or.us/releases/2010/rel031910a.shtml. This link also has a phone number to call if you believe you have been a victim of a scam.

If you have questions about a letter you have received or about the value on your property, contact the Polk County Assessor at 503-623-8391.



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