VENTURA, Calif. – The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is warning the public about deceptive letters recently sent to residents. The letters threaten property owners with potential asset levies and/or property seizure. The letters attempt to create a sense of urgency and they include an (800) number to call. Examples of these deceptive correspondence letters are attached to this news release.
Ventura County property owners are reminded that if they have a question on the status of their property taxes, they should contact the Ventura County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office. Legitimate letters from the Ventura County Treasurer-Tax Collector will have a local address and a local telephone number. Residents may call the Ventura County Treasurer-Tax Collector at (805) 654-3744 or send an email to he[email protected]
If taxpayers have a question on the status of their state or federal tax liability, they should contact the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or their tax professional. “Unsolicited materials received in the mail are often marketing materials deceptively designed to cause the property owner to become concerned and call the number listed on the mailer,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Dominic Kardum.
In addition to deceptive mail solicitors, county residents are urged to be aware of scammers that seek victims through text messages, emails, and phone calls. These scammers use similar tactics:
- They often pretend to be government officials or legitimate businesses.
- They create a sense of urgency to get victims to respond quickly.
- They often demand immediate payment.
- They demand payment with pre-paid cards.
- They ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- They threaten arrest if immediate payment isn’t made.
The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office has several specialized units that investigate fraud. When appropriate, the Consumer Protection Unit will investigate consumer complaints. Any inquiries or referrals about potential violations of consumer laws can be made by calling (805) 662-1750.
EXAMPLES OF DECEPTIVE MAILERS
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