North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice
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Official looking letter isn’t what it claims to be

Thursday, November 08, 2012


If you just glanced at a letter recently received by some North Carolinians, you’d assume that it was sent by the government. It says the Local Records Office can provide a copy of your deed (“…the only document that identifies you as a property owner…”) for $89. To spur you to act quickly, it also includes a “Please Respond By” date.\
 
But the Local Records Office is really just a rented mailbox in Raleigh. Your deed is kept on file by the Register of Deeds in your county and if you need a copy all you have to do is contact them. You can usually find your deed online and print it for free, and even if you need a certified copy it will only cost you a few dollars.
 
Con artists know people pay attention to mailings that appear to have been sent by a government agency, so they use variations of this scam on an ongoing basis. Over the years our office has warned consumers and businesses about a number of these rip-offs.
 
Don’t pay an unnecessary fee for something that you can get for yourself from your local government at little or no cost. To check out a suspicious mailing or file a complaint about one, contact our Consumer Protection Division toll-free at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM within North Carolina.  You can also file a consumer complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.