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SCAM ALERT: Ottawa County authorities warn of fraudulent tax letter

The letter mentions garnishment of wages, property seizures, creation of a property lien, and requests a balance to be paid in full.
Finger at 'SCAM ALERT' on keyboard, stock image.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and Treasurer's Office are warning residents about a tax scam that is circulating in the community. 

According to authorities, a possible fraudulent mailing has been sent to residents or businesses in Ottawa County. 

Upon further investigation, they determined that the letter is a scam.  

The sheriff's office said the letter indicates that it is from the "Tax Resolution Unit" in Ottawa County, and claims to be a "Distraint Warrant," mentioning garnishment of wages, property seizures and creation of a property lien. The letter also requests a balance to be paid in full.  

It is believed that this same scam has been used in other parts of the country as well.

According to a Facebook post from the Ottawa County Treasurer's Office, the document looks official on its face, but it is missing a lot of the information that an actual notice would have.

They said, "for example, instead of having both a phone number and mailing address for contact information, there is just a 1-800 toll free number. It doesn't indicate which tax authority is requesting payment for taxes owed. 

Another indicative sign that this is not genuine is the lack of data regarding type of tax owed and period. In addition, the title "Distraint Warrant" isn't a term used by the IRS or other tax authorities."

This incident remains under investigation by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office-Investigative Services, in an attempt to identify the source of the fraudulent mailings.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office or Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT (745368) or mosotips.com.

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