Police warn of new scam threatening property seizure

GOULDSBORO — Residents of Gouldsboro and the surrounding area should be alert for a new scam.

Gouldsboro Police Chief John Shively said a resident recently reported receiving a letter claiming his property was about to be seized for nonpayment of taxes. The letterhead indicated it had come from the Hancock County “tax processing unit.”

The letter instructs the recipient to call an 800 number by a certain date or the property will be seized and the owner will not be allowed to enter or remove any personal belongings.

As part of the investigation, Shively called the number and the person he spoke with told him to send $500 but didn’t verify anything about him, “which is really awkward considering I’m a cop,” he said.

Shively said the letter contained spelling and grammatical errors that made it suspect. He wants to get the word out because often, once one scam letter is sent, others typically follow.

“I have it on good authority from the county treasurer that they will not send you a tax letter of any kind,” he said. “If you get one of these in the mail, please do not call them and definitely do not give them $500.”

Instead, he said, anyone receiving such a letter should call police at county dispatch: 667-8866.

Johanna S. Billings

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Johanna S. Billings covers eastern Hancock County and western Washington County. An avid photographer, she lives in Steuben with her husband and several cats. She welcomes tips and story ideas. Email her at [email protected]

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