Scam targets Shelby County property owners

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SHELBY COUNTY. -- A scam alert in Shelby County.

The County Trustee's office issues a warning about a "tax sale scam."

The apparent scam involves a company named Shelby County Tax Help, which has informed some property by postcard their taxes are delinquent and they could lose their homes if they don't contact the company immediately.

"Since Monday we've received about 30 to 35 calls from taxpayers that are very upset because they've received this postcard," says Debra Gates, Shelby County Trustee CAO.

Postcards have shown up in mailboxes across Shelby County.

It warns property owners their taxes are delinquent and they stand to lose their homes if they don't call Shelby County Tax Help immediately.

Officials say you should not fall for this scam.

"That there would be an offer to buy the property. Now, I have not talked to with them, but that seems to be what they're trying to do," says Debra Gates, Shelby County Trustee CAO.

Debra Gates says cards have even gone out to people who aren't delinquent on their property taxes and that's causing a lot of panic.

"They've been very scared, very distraught about losing their property."

We tried to contact someone at Shelby County Tax Help but never got a real person on the line.

LaToya Brookins did get someone on the line after her elderly grandparents received one of the postcards.

"They thought their house was fixin' to be taken. And the man told us when we called the number, that we owed like twenty three thousand dollars. And we know we've never been late," says LaToya Brookins.

She says a company representative wanted bank account numbers, routing numbers and social security numbers.

Friday she came to the Shelby County Trustee's office to make sure everything was okay.

She's upset someone would try to take advantage of her grandparents.

"By them being their age, I can't stand somebody that's trying to scam them," says LaToya Brookins.

We're told the postcards went out to some businesses as well.

Property tax records are public information so if you have questions about your property taxes, you should call the trustee's office or go to their website.

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