Shelby County warns of fake tax notices designed to steal your home

(Source: Shelby County Trustee's Office)
(Source: Shelby County Trustee's Office)
(Source: Shelby County Trustee's Office)
(Source: Shelby County Trustee's Office)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An unscrupulous business is trying to trick Shelby County homeowners out of their homes, according to Shelby County Trustee's Office.

Several homeowners have complained after receiving unauthorized tax notices. The notices targeted delinquent taxpayers and offered to purchase their property for the amount of taxes owed.

"We have been getting an influx of calls from distraught taxpayers who think they are going to lose their homes," said Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir. "Since information about what is owed on properties is public record, there are a number unscrupulous people who prey on unknowing taxpayers and try to purchase their properties from them."

The company's name is listed as Shelby County Tax Help, and the company's listed address traces back to a UPS Store location.

Austin Hennon found one of the fake tax notices in his mailbox. It stated that he was 36 months behind on his taxes, and then warned him that if he didn't pay up, his home would be auctioned off.

"Well I looked at it and the first thing was, 'Holy cow!' And then the second thought was 'This is not true.' Because I know I paid my taxes," Hennon said.

The fake tax notices have a phone number for the recipient to call. Shelby County Trustee's Office said anyone receiving the fake tax notice should not call the number. Instead contact the Trustee's Office at 901-222-0200.

WMC Action News 5's Felicia Bolton called the number to see what would happen.

Nobody answered.

"The post card is going out, and they're really designed to scare people in thinking that their property is in danger of being sold," Debra Gates with the Trustee Office said.

If you receive one of the fake tax notices, do not panic. Instead,  contact the Trustee's Office at 901-222-0200.

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