Beware Recorded Deed Notice Scam

Margolis-Bloom-D'Agostino-DeedNotice-Estate-Planning

We have received a number of inquiries from clients who received official-looking notices from a company purportedly named “Property Site” suggesting that they obtain “their Property Assessment Profile which includes a complimentary copy of your current Grant Deed or other record of title” for $98. (Both the bold and the mixing third and second persons in the original.)

These are bogus. If you receive one, don’t waste your $98.

The notices include a pay-by-phone telephone number and a deadline to respond in order to create some urgency. The return address is in Norco, California, in a building that appears to exist on Google Maps.

A Google search shows that this scam has been going on for several years, prompting at least one state to pass a law specifically outlawing the process. It appears that they can produce the official-looking notices because property information is all part of the public record and that this notice was prompted by a recent transaction involving the property.

My Telephone Call

I called the number on the notice saying I was the son of the property owners. The woman who answered the phone said that by paying the money we could get “legal proof of ownership,” with a 40-page report that would include a copy of the deed and a property plan. If we didn’t want that, she said to just throw the notice away. When I pressed to ask if the report was necessary, she simply repeated that if we didn’t want “legal proof of ownership” we should simply throw the notice away. Eventually she hung up on me.

Conclusion

It seems that the company is not making any untrue claims, for instance that title to the property would be affected by failure to follow up. They’re just using a false notice to sell a totally unnecessary service. There are certainly worse scams out there, but don’t fall for this one.

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