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Recorded Deed Notice – Scam Alert

“Recorded Deed Notice” scams are still occuring here in Arizona. Shorlty after a deed is recorded, many individuals report recieving a “Recorded Deed Notice”.   This is a scam!  Whether our office recorded a deed for you transfering your property into your trust, or you bought or sold property in Arizona, scammers are watching public records and may attempt to collect!  The scam exploits the fact that property records are public information, which scammers use to identify and contact homeowners. They send out notices that mimic official government correspondence, complete with legal-sounding terminology and official-looking seals. Despite the convincing appearance, a closer look reveals disclaimers stating that the service is not affiliated with any governmental agency. This subtle deception often goes unnoticed, leading homeowners to pay for documents they either already possess or can easily obtain for free or at a minimal cost through their county recorder’s office.

When you receive a bill or notice that seems unfamiliar, always be diligent and ask questions. Scammers often rely on people paying small, nominal amounts without questioning the legitimacy of the request. Here’s how you can identify this scam:

  • Official Look: The envelope and notice might look official but read carefully. It states, “This service to obtain a copy of your deed or title is not affiliated with any governmental agency.”
  • Deceptive Language: Although the notice says you are not obligated to pay, the wording makes it feel like a bill or official business. Read the fine print!
  • Targeting Trusts: These notices are sometimes sent to our clients using their Living Trust names, which scammers obtain from publicly available homeowner lists.

Here are the facts:

  1. Original Deeds: All of our clients receive the original copy of their property deeds by mail when their property is re-titled to the name of their Trust that we prepared and recorded for them.
  2. Requesting Copies: If you ever need a copy of a deed for property you own, you should request it from your County Recorder’s Office. Alternatively, you can contact us, and we will assist you in obtaining a copy. If you live here in Maricopa County, you can located recorded deeds through this website: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata/ 

If you receive a similar notice, do not make any payments. These notices can head straight to the recycling container!
Instead, consider filing a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Arizona Attorney General: https://www.azag.gov/consumer/about

Please reach out if you have any questions!

 

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