How many bills do you get in your mail a day?
Quite often, their quantity is less important than their quality.
We’ve got a bill.
An official looking letter with a warning on it (I’ve never seen before). The warning promised a $2,000 fine or 5 years imprisonment for any person interfering or obstructing with delivery of this letter.
It scared me and made me open it right away. It was a bill from “Property site” with all our info: Dan’s name, address, year a house was built, official words such as Property assessment profile, deed, service fee of $98.00, and due date.
I looked at it and decided to pay it off on Sunday.
But first I showed the bill to Daniel. He also looked it over and said: well, we probably have to pay.
When I was looking for information on who to make check payable to, I noticed the California address of the organization. But why? What does the California Property Site have to do with our paperwork in Massachusetts?
At that point I started to read, literally every word.
THIS SERVICE TO OBTAIN A COPY OF YOUR PROPERTY ASSESSMENT PROFILE IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY. YOU CAN OBTAIN A COPY OF YOUR GRANT DEED FROM THE COUNTY RECORDER IN THE COUNTY WHERE YOUR PROPERTY IS LOCATED.
PROPERTY SITE USES POWERFUL SOFTWARE AND CHARGES A SERVICE FEE OF $98.00 FOR THE PROPERTY ASSESSMENT PROFILE REPORT.
… And so on
Puzzled, I went back to Daniel. We started reading again, aloud. And we got to the conclusion that we don’t need to pay. But I wanted to be sure.
I went online and found this article that explains everything 👇
It’s just a scam.
But still … how is this possible? Two adults looked at the paper and saw what?
How clever these scammers are. They gave the bill such an official look. They put in all these smart words that normal people have difficulties to understand. They made us believe that we have to pay. They didn’t ask for any personal information (such as SSN or bank account info). Because it definitely would alert us. They simply asked for a check or pay by phone.
I’m not even sure that their actions can be classified as illegal. They simply offered a service to place our information in some kind of software, for money. And the data (about real estate) that they used can be obtained from the “Real estate Values” book, which is available in any library.
In general, I wish everyone and myself, first of all, to be on the alert!
P.S. The funny thing is that there was another inscription on the envelope next to the warning, which I didn’t noticed at the time: this is not a government approved document.