Officials warn of property tax scam

A St. Louis-based company’s offer to buy tax-delinquent properties in Jackson County appears to be a scam, a county official said Tuesday morning.

Auditor Kathy Hohenstreiter said her office has had several calls from property owners in Hamilton Township who have received offers from American Land Buyer of St. Louis.

The letters, signed by Paul Stemme, contain sample checks that can’t be cashed, offering to buy tax-delinquent land from the landowner, Hohenstreiter said. Stemme claims in the letter to be doing business as American Land Buyer.

The properties Stemme are offering to buy, however, do not have any outstanding tax debt and never have, she said.

The letter, however, contains information about the property, including its size, exact location and property number.

“No delinquent property tax list has gone out to him,” she said.

Efforts to contact Stemme at the number listed on the offer sheet were unsuccessful, Hohenstreiter said.

Hohenstreiter said similar scams have been reported in Jennings County and other Indiana counties.

She said people should ignore the letter and not accept any offer from American Land Buyer. If they have questions, they may call the auditor’s office at 812-358-6122.