The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is warning of a series of deceptive letters threatening to seize people’s assets and property over unpaid taxes.
The letters, according to authorities, are intended to create a sense of urgency, and include an 800 number for the recipients to call by a specified deadline. The DA’s officer, however, said that people should not call.
Authorities say that legitimate letters from the Ventura County Treasurer and Tax Collector’s office will have a local address and local phone number. Anyone who receives a misleading letter can call the county tax collector’s office at 805-654-3744 or email email@example.com.
For any questions about federal or state taxes, the tax collector’s office recommends contacting the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a 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,” Senior Deputy DA Dominic Kardum told the Ventura County Star.
The District Attorney’s office also advises taxpayers to be aware of other ways scammers use to obtain information or money from their victims. These methods include text messages, emails and phone calls.
The DA’s office advises people to look out for any of these tactics from scammers:
- They pretend to be government officials or legitimate businesses.
- They create a sense of urgency to get victims to respond quickly.
- They demand immediate payment with prepaid cards.
- They ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- They threaten arrest if immediate payment is not made.
To file a consumer fraud complaint in Ventura County, click here.
Source: NBC Los Angeles
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