Be careful of companies with official-sounding names offering to help you reduce your property taxes for a fee. There is no need to pay for such services. Misleading mailers can look like official government agency documents. The mailers seek to trick you into sending them money to lower your property taxes. They also use addresses like “Regional Processing Center” to make you think the mail is coming from a government agency. A recent mailing reported to the Oregon Department of Justice includes the misleadingly official-sounding title: “2010 Property Tax Reduction Form.”
Sometimes, mailers threaten to impose a late fee if you don’t send them money by a certain date.
Don’t be fooled. Government agencies don’t charge for tax reassessment — it’s free. If your property has declined in value and you think your property tax is incorrect, you can request a review of your property from your local tax assessor.
For more information, contact your county tax assessor’s office.
What you can do to avoid becoming a victim:
- DON’T PAY MONEY FOR SOMETHING YOU DID NOT ASK FOR.
- CONTACT YOUR COUNTY ASSESSOR’S OFFICE DIRECTLY, DON’T PAY FOR A MIDDLEMAN.
Anyone who believes they have been approached by a scammer should call the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or go to the Department’s Web site: www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov. To stay informed about scams, sign up for the Scam Alert Network at: https://www.doj.state.or.us/finfraud/scamalertnetwork.shtml
Attorney General John Kroger recently unveiled a new feature on called Be InfORmed, which allows consumers to look up complaints about businesses: www.oregonattorneygeneral.gov/beinformed