(BOISE) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is asking Idahoans to be on the lookout for a tax scam that may be arriving in their mailboxes. Made to look like an official government letter, the mailer is an advertisement for private tax attorneys attempting to drum up business.

Ada County officials made Wasden’s office aware of the scam mailers Thursday. The letters purport to be from the made-up “Ada County Tax Processing Unit” and sent via U.S. Mail from Sacramento. The mailer does not include a specific return address. It features a seal with an eagle, meant to further confuse recipients into thinking the mailer is an actual government document.

Once opened, the mailer explains that the recipient owes unpaid taxes and that a lien will be put on their property until the tax debt is paid. It appears the company has mined publicly available tax records to locate information about individuals’ tax deficiencies.

A call to the phone number listed in the mailer reveals the company is attempting to make money off of those who owe back taxes by working as an intermediary in settlement negotiations with the government. When asked for the name of the company, an operator promptly hung up.

“This is clearly a company doing business in the shadows and trying to scare Idahoans into working with them,” Wasden said. “I strongly recommend anyone who receives this mailer to throw it in the trash. Any company that tries to generate business by tricking potential customers is clearly one to avoid. If you’re behind on your taxes, there are legitimate companies out there that don’t operate in such an underhanded way.”

Wasden and the Idaho State Tax Commission issued an alert for a similar scam in January.

Images of the recent letters are available herehere and here. (Photo credit: Ada County)