ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Sheriff Leroy Ravenell is issuing a warning that scammers are in full swing with a letter being received that threatens property seizure if a hefty tax isn’t paid.

“These individuals are preying on the unsuspecting with what may seem a serious and complicated matter involving taxes here at tax time,” Ravenell said. “Be aware that this is fake and call us – we’re more than happy to make that call the letter demands.”

The concern is a letter and possibly more that are feared to be in the area that indicates the recipient is in trouble with a tax enforcement agency if, in this instance, more than $17,000 isn’t paid.

The letter threatens property seizure or liens against the victim if the money isn’t paid.

The letter claims it is a “distraint warrant,” which would typically mean bad news for a taxpayer with back taxes. But only if the warrant were genuine.

However, there are several flaws, some of which are that the letter implies two agencies – both state and county – without declaring who is the charging agency.

Ravenell further pointed out that when the number is called and the agency confronted, they hang up.

“If you have any questions whatsoever, just call us first, we will make that call for you,” he said. “But whatever you do, don’t send any money until you have any matter such as this verified.”

If you have any questions or a similar letter, please call 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.