Some colleagues and I were discussing this scam recently, and I thought I would share it with you. If you have ever purchased real estate, you may recall that your attorney sent you the original, recorded deed within a week or so after the transaction was complete. Simple.
However, during that same time frame, most property owners will also receive an official-looking mailed notice such as one below. The form shown is from the “Local Records Office, ” but there are other companies providing this same “service.” (Of course, “Local Records Office” is clearly designed to sound like the “Recorder’s Office” located in your County Courthouse).
These folks are offering to send you a copy of your deed for $89.00. BEWARE, this is a scam! It may look like an official notice, but as the form states, “Local Records Office” is not associated with any government agency. You would literally just be paying them to print or photocopy your deed and mail it to you.
What many people don’t know, is that you can always obtain a copy of your deed (or anyone else’s for that matter) from the County Courthouse. In most counties, the fee is less than fifty cents per page. Some counties even offer online viewing and printing of deeds from your home or office at no charge. Simply put, the service being offered by the “Local Records Office” and their ilk is completely unnecessary.
And of course, if you have recently purchased property, your attorney is very likely mailing you the original deed for your records. So don’t fall for this deed scam.