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Article posted: 9/29/2013 5:00 AM

Beware costly scam to copy deeds

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The Lake County Recorder's Office has been flooded with phone calls asking about a letter regarding the deed to the caller's home.

It looks very official but the true purpose is to get people to spend their hard-earned money, and it's a scam.

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Now there are two companies, in particular, in the scamming business. I urge you to be careful, especially if you have recently purchased a new home. These companies see you as vulnerable because you want to be sure all of your paperwork is in order regarding your new home.

These companies offer to provide a certified copy of the deed to your home for an outrageous payment of $99 plus $4.50 for postage and handling.

There may come a time when you do need to reference the deed to your home. As often happens, people misplace their deeds or in some instances, never actually received the original deed at the time they purchased their home. For your protection, all requests for copies of deeds should be handled directly through the recorder's office.

The average deed is four pages or less, with a copy fee of only $1 per page.

As you can see, these unscrupulous businesses are roughly making a $95 profit on every request they handle.

Let's put them out of business. Please do not respond to the scam. As the keeper of the property records for all of Lake County, I do not want to see anyone needlessly harmed by these deceptive offers.

I would encourage anyone with a question, concern or need for a copy to contact my office directly at 847-377-2575. We will be happy to send you whatever paperwork you need, at the statutory cost, without any handling or postage fees.

Mary Ellen Vanderventer

Lake County Recorder

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