Beware of a “local records office scam” targeting people in Fayette County, says Fayette County Recorder Cathy Templin.
Several people in Fayette County have received a letter in the mail, Templin informed the Record-Herald, but the letter is not sent from an official local or state government office. Templin said the letter looks like it came from an official office because it states it came from ‘Local Records Office’ and lists the name and address of the land owner and the date that their land was transferred.
For example, if a person refinanced their home or property, it could generate one of the letters to be sent to the address, informing the home owner that for a copy of their deed, “please detach coupon and return with an $89 processing fee in the envelope provided.”
Templin said there is no reason for people to spend the $89 because copies of deeds may be obtained for free on the recorder’s website or for 25 cents at the county recorder’s office in Washington Court House.
“Their name would appear at the top of the letter. People have brought in the letters to the recorder’s office and asked me if it was real. I have seen three or four of these letters in the last few months. They get them when their land is transferred and even when people refinance they send these out, but it’s a scam. The average person doesn’t understand,” said Templin.
Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, issued a news bulletin in 2012 about deeds, stating “Some homeowners are receiving offers from private vendors offering to provide copies of their deeds for fees of $80 or more. These letters or solicitations may appear to be official documents even though they are not associated with the government.”
The attorney general’s news bulletin said that if you suspect a scam or believe you have been treated unfairly, file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.
The website for the Fayette County Recorder’s Office is http://www.fayette-co-oh.com/recorder.html
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