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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s Office is warning residents about a new form of tax fraud.

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Property Appraiser Lazaro Solis issued a fraud alert after it came to his attention that residents had received bogus letters titled “Property Tax Relief Notice.”

The notice describes how citizens can obtain a “5% property tax relief (discount) for property owners who have running Home Equity Lines of Credit.” The con artist also mentions the taxpayer’s bank and when their bank account was opened.

In order for the person to receive this “tax relief,” the scammer asks the property owner to fax a copy of their latest home equity line of credit account statement and a copy of a voided check.

The fraudulent letter has the Property Appraiser’s seal, address, phone number and website. However, it lists an incorrect fax number.

Here is an example of the letter being sent out:

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(Courtesy of Miami-Dade County Office of the Property Appraiser)

(Courtesy of Miami-Dade County Office of the Property Appraiser)

Solis released a statement regarding the issue.

“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. 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.”

According to the alert, Solis notified the appropriate authorities. However, he still urges property owners who receive this letter to contact the Miami-Dade Police Economic Crimes Bureau at 305-994-1000.

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