The BBB has alerted me to a new scam that is really a scam by omission. It seems a mysterious company is using a DC mailing address to send out “helpful” notices to consumers that they can buy a copy of their property deeds for only $83.
However what the mailer doesn’t say is most people can get a copy of their deed online for free.
Now this winds up being a scam for two reasons. First, it is selling consumers their own free information. Second, because people will be guidable (stupid) enough to fall for this.
The property in the mailer below is in Sumter County, Florida. It took me less than a minute to pull up a deed for a property in The Villages, Florida. It was free and best of all, anytime you’d want to access a copy, the County has it on record.
I’m calling this mailer bullshit.
You will notice the mailer comes from a generic company, Record Transfer Service. They say they are located at 1176 I Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC. That happens to be a mail drop and shared office space. – Source
According to The District of Columbia, no company is registered to do business there under the name Record Transfer Service.
The mailer makes all sorts of claims about the reason you need to buy the document on file for your property and says it will cost you $83 and take 21 days. Again, the document is free and can be obtained in less than a minute. So consumers are going to be charged a big fee for service that will take almost 21 days longer than it needs to.
Way down in the fine print there is the slightest of disclosure. “You can obtain a copy of your grant deed or other record of title from the county recorder in the county where your property is located in, for up to $83.” Yea, or in this case you could get it yourself for $0.
I would recommend that anyone considering using such a company should read the following free guides.
May I suggest that consumers interested in this service read How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off and make their own decision about the company before handing over any money.