Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Miami-Dade Property Appraiser warns of fraudulent letter

A new scam is targeting Miami-Dade County property owners.

On Monday, Property Appraiser Lazaro Solis issued a warning to property owners about a scam aimed at getting their personal financial information.

A fraudulent letter — printed on what looks like Property Appraiser’s letterhead — asks property owners to fax information about their home equity lines of credit and checking accounts on the false pretense that they’re eligible for a 5-percent property tax discount.

The letter says: “In order to grant tax relief this office must verify that you still hold a running Home Equity Line of Credit. If this is the case, please fax us a copy of your latest Home Equity Line of Credit account statement, accompanied by a copy of a voided check from the checking account where you would like us to credit your tax refund.”

Solis said his office would never ask for such information. “Please be vigilant and contact the authorities if you believe you have fallen victim to this or any other scam,” he said in a statement.
“If anyone was victimized, they should contact their financial institution to prevent additional damage,’’ he said.

Solis said the Cook County Assessors Office in Illinois is warning of a similar scam.
The property appraiser said he is cooperating with the Miami-Dade Police Economic Crimes Bureau. The bureau’s phone number is 305-994-1000.

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