If you’ve recently purchased a home, a scam may try to trick you out of more than $80.
Whenever you purchase real property or even refinance it, that transaction becomes part of the public record. Documents conveying interests in real property transactions are recorded after closing at the appropriate County Register of Deeds office.
Unfortunately, there is always someone trying to take advantage of public information.
Scammers are now contacting new home buyers with a seemingly legitimate solicitation offering to send a copy of their property deed and other information for $79.00-149.00. It usually arrives as letter or postcard a few days after closing. It is marked “URGENT” ,“IMPORTANT”, or even “Your Closing Documents”. It may even reference your property specifically, and look very real. Many victims thought it was something from the actual settlement company, and a requirement, so they sent in their money….
Do not fall for this. In fact, if you receive one of these notices, please report it immediately to the Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan Attorney General’s office. It is an unfair and deceptive trade practice. Here is why. Your recorded documents are public information (that is how this deceptive company got the information in the first place); and you can obtain a copy of any recorded documents. The usual cost is $1.00 per page, and most deeds are 1 page.
Essentially these scammers are charging people $79-149 to mail them a $1.00 document.
Generally, if you receive a solicitation asking for more money after your closing, it isn’t legitimate. But if you aren’t sure or want more information, contact your real estate agent.
If you need any assistance in finding your recorded documents online or navigating the website, just contact your local Register of Deeds office and they will be happy to assist you.