Have you gotten an official-looking notice in the mail asking for payment of a $86 fee in return for legal documents related to real estate you own? If so, toss it out.
North Carolina State Attorney General Josh Stein sent out an alert to consumers late last week warning that private businesses are sending property owners “Recorded Deed Notice” mailings that offer to provide a property assessment profile after an $86 fee is paid up front.
However, these documents are available for free – or for a nominal fee – from local government offices.
“You do not need to pay a separate company to get these official documents,” the alert stated.
One of the companies in question is called Property Profile Inc., which claims to be legitimately selling a document research and compilation service. The company has been the subject of more than 20 Better Business Bureau complaints, most of which complain that the solicitations look like bills and have the potential to scare people into paying the $86 “service fee.”
If you believe you’ve been the victim of a scam in the process of trying to obtain these documents, you can file a consumer complaint with the NC Dept. of Justice’s Consumer Protection Division at ncdoj.gov/complaint or 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.