Property Appraiser Lazaro Solis has issued a fraud alert for all property owners of Miami-Dade County. Beware that criminals are targeting property owners using a fraudulent letter, which is printed on a recreated Property Appraiser letterhead.
Taxpayers are receiving a letter titled “Property Tax Relief Notice.” It describes how citizens can obtain a “5 percent property tax relief (discount) for property owners who have running Home Equity Lines of Credit.” The mailer also indicates the name of the taxpayer’s bank and when their bank account was opened.
The phony letter continues by saying, “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.”
Although the letter has the Property Appraiser’s correct address, phone number, and website it lists an incorrect fax number.
“It is important to note that under no circumstance will the Office of the Property Appraiser ever request bank statements and/or checks from property owners,” said Property Appraiser Lazaro Solis. “Please be vigilant and contact the authorities if you believe you have fallen victim to this or any other scam. However, if you have already sent your bank statement and/or check, contact your bank immediately.”
Solis has notified the appropriate authorities, including the Miami-Dade Police Economic Crimes Bureau to investigate. However, if property owners receive this letter, they may directly contact the Economic Crimes Bureau at 305- 994-1000.