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Property Tax Scam Alive, But Not for Long

This post was written by jd on December 9, 2009
Posted Under: Real Estate
This is the letter these scammers use. Looks official, but it's just a scam.

This is the letter these scammers use. Looks official, but it's just a scam.

You may remember earlier this year when you might have received an official looking letter regarding lowering your property taxes.  They had an assessed value of your property, with another value much lower stating this is what your house should be assessed. By sending them money, they promised they could lower your taxes by several hundred dollars or more.  

Now a new law that takes effect January first will ban this popular property tax scam. But one lawmaker is warning Californians to be vigilant now.

Again, you’re probably familiar with the scam. You get a letter in the mail from a company that offers to help reduce your property taxes for a fee. But that’s something counties automatically do for free when the market drops. Democratic Assemblyman Ted Lieu wrote legislation that bans the scam. He said he got one of the notices just last week.

“These third companies and these parties are quite smart,” said Lieu. “They’re sending out a lot of letters right now to try to get as much scam money as they can before the bill takes effect.”

The letters look official and counties say they’ve had hundreds of calls from homeowners who’ve been confused by them.

“Rather than us spending our time notifying people not to get scammed, we’d rather be doing our work for the people,” said Amador County Assessor Jim Rooney, said

Under the new law, scammers will be fined up to $25,000 dollars per letter, and could face six months in jail 

Leave a comment if you have received one of these letters recently.

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