King County warns residents about property tax email scam

December 15, 2011

By Staff

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NEW — 4:15 p.m. Dec. 15, 2011

King County officials warned residents about a possible email scam Thursday, after the county received calls from people about a bogus online property tax payment.

The callers reported receiving false confirmation of online property tax payments made through the King County e-commerce system. The county did not send the emails, and the county’s e-commerce system has not been compromised.

“It appears that someone copied our standard payment confirmation email and altered the header in the email so that it appears to be from King County,” county Chief Information Officer Bill Kehoe said in a statement. “These messages did not come from King County, and the recipients have not made any payments with us.”

The county encourages residents to practice safe computing habits. If a property owner has not made a King County tax payment via the online system, but received a notification email, he or she should delete the message and not open any attachments.

“We have robust protections on all of our information technology systems,” Kehoe said. “The email addresses did not come from our database. Residents can rest easy, knowing that their personal information is secure.”

The county released the information about the email after Puget Sound Energy alerted customers to a similar scam involving utility bills.

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