King County warns of apparent email scam about online property tax payments
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
December 15, 2011 · 3:07 PM
If you received an email about making a property tax payment online to King County, be alert.
King County officials issued a media release Thursday about an apparent email scam.
The county has received calls from people and businesses within and outside of King County, including individuals from other states and countries, who have reported receiving false confirmation of an online property tax payment made through the King County e-commerce system.
The emails were not sent by King County, and the county’s e-commerce system has not been compromised.
“It appears that someone copied our standard payment confirmation email and altered the header in the email so that it appears to be from King County,” said County chief information officer Bill Kehoe. “These messages did not come from King County, and the recipients have not made any payments with us.”
Kehoe added that King County’s e-commerce system is safe. “We have robust protections on all of our information technology systems. The email addresses did not come from our database. Residents can rest easy, knowing that their personal information is secure.”
King County encourages everyone to practice safe computing habits. If you have not made a King County tax payment via the online system, but received an email notification from KingCountyEcommerce@kingcounty.gov, delete it, and do not open any attachments.
King County also has a message on the property tax payment website that warns the public about the email scam.
This notice marks the second email scam alter this week in King County. On Wednesday, Puget Sound Energy released a media statement about a fraudulent email notice about bill payments.Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at email@example.com or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.