In what a Santa Clara County official is calling a scam, a company is trying to get South Bay residents to pay for information about their property that they can get for free from county records.
The scam is in the disguise of a legitimate-looking letter that is being mailed to property owners. The letter offers homeowners information about their property value and a property deed for $89.
Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone reviewed the letter and said it's definitely a scam.
"They're really attempting to deceive the public," Stone said. "It's going out to millions of homeowners who can get a deed for $6 and the property information for free.
"So they mail to these folks, offering to provide them with information that's available for free 24/7 on the assessor's website or here in our office," he added.
The timing is bad too. Nearly half a million South Bay property owners are receiving legitimate letters this week from the county about their home's assessed value. The fake letters come from a company calling itself Local Property Office.
The return address is from Southern California, and Stone says it looks like a government document.
Stone advises people to look closely at these types of letters that look like official government documents. Letters from the Assessor's Office have the official government seal, and they don't demand payment.