Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. issued the following statement regarding fake tax debt payment letters allegedly being sent out by a third party.

“I’d like to make the public aware of letters allegedly being sent to Lake County property or business owners demanding immediate payment of tax debt.  The letters feature the heading “Distraint Warrant”, which is a legal term related to a government agency’s power to ensure payment of delinquent taxes.  In the letters, the sender gives a phone number to call if debtors want to avoid collection action including “…garnishment of wages and bank accounts”.  The sender is listed as “Tax Resolution Unit Lake County Public Judgement Records”. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department Civil Division has received a few complaints from recipients of the letters.

“Please be aware that THESE LETTERS ARE SENT BY A THIRD PARTY WITH NO AFFILIATION TO THE LAKE COUNTY, INDIANA ASSESSOR’S OFFICE OR LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.  We have seen letters like these in the past where a company attempts to scare property owners and pressure them to pay a fee for tax debt resolution services.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY A FEE TO A THIRD PARTY TO RESOLVE DELINQUENT TAXES IN LAKE COUNTY.

“If you receive a letter like this and have questions about your tax debt or any liens you may have, call the Lake County Assessor’s Office at 219-755-3022.  In addition, the office has posted a list of online services they provide at

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Department Civil Division provides collections services for the Indiana Department of Revenue.  For information on whether you have an active Indiana tax warrant or a delinquency, contact the Indiana Department of Revenue.  You may also contact our Civil Division at 219-755-3197.

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Department is reviewing some of the letters.  The Lake County Assessor’s Office has contacted investigators with the United States Postal Service. That agency suggests that recipients of the letters file a complaint form at WWW.USPIS.GOV/REPORT.

“We have attached an example of a letter reported by a local business.”