L.A. County: Scammers Using COVID-19 Closures to Fleece People

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County tax officials alerted residents today about a scam that “unknown people'' are using under the guise of the COVID-19 pandemic to fraudulently collect in-person property tax payments at residents' homes.

“Please note that the county of Los Angeles Treasurer and Tax Collector does not conduct in-person visits to collect property tax payments and that any attempts to collect in-person payments are fraudulent,'' Treasurer and Tax Collector Keith Knox said.

“Should you be contacted at your home or hear about this in your neighborhood, do not make payment to the person requesting it and notify local law enforcement immediately,'' he added. “Be sure to provide a detailed description of the individual.''

The individuals may have fake identification as well as the tax bill for the specific homeowner in question, officials said.

These individuals allegedly claim that the homeowner must pay their property taxes in person because the COVID-19 pandemic has closed county offices to the public.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC and Assessor offices are closed to the public but the TTC is not accepting in-person payments.

Knox said the TTC accepts payments online, by mail, or over the telephone.

Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang said residents need to be aware of this scam and not engage with anybody seeking an in-person property tax payment.

“It's important to be cautious with anybody making unsolicited offers,'' Prang said. “Appraisers sometimes will visit homes to appraise the property, but our appraisers will never ask for tax payments. This current activity is a scam and it's important to report it to the authorities immediately.''

More information on property tax payment options is available at ttc.lacounty.gov and assessor.lacounty.gov.

Photo: Getty Images

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