Nothing makes me angrier than people trying to scam other people. The latest scam has hit two of my clients in the last week. Both received an official looking envelope with correspondence inside entitled Local Records Office.
The rather official looking documentation requests $89.00 to be sent in to receive a copy of their latest filed deed. Only if you turn the document over do you see in very small print the words “not affiliated with any State or the United States or the County Records”. However the disclaimer is small and not very noticeable, so my clients could have easily complied with the request. Luckily, they called us first.
This so called service is really not a service that you need. You can get a copy of your deed by requesting it from the recorder’s office. However in most instances, you already have the document in your possession. In my client’s cases, I had just recorded deeds for them, so I would have sent them the same document free of charge.
It is appalling to send out such forms, which look so official that most people would pay the charge without realizing that it is unnecessary. The company apparently has just enough disclaimer language in the form to avoid prosecution and they do offer a service, although you could easily obtain the deed yourself and save your money.
All we can do is get the word out to try and help prevent people from being taken advantage of by this scam. For every official looking form you receive, be cautions, check the back of the form for fine print. It can also be helpful to do a search on the name of the agency sending the information. When you type Local Records Office into google, you get a list of articles about the scam.
* The information contained in this Blog is intended for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion of counsel.