Craig Olive, Johnston County Register of Deeds, has issued a warning to citizens to be cautious of any mail or notifications received from a California company.
Property Profile, Inc. of Glendora, CA has been mailing notices with the title “Recorded Deed Notice” to property owners in Johnston County. In the mailing, property owners are instructed to send the company a service fee of $86 by a certain date in order to obtain a current grant deed and property assessment profile.
“Over the years, other companies have used similar schemes to attempt to obtain exorbitant amounts of money from property owners on the premise of obtaining these documents,” Olive said. “However, these documents are accessible at no charge via the Register of Deeds website, www.jcrod.org.”
In addition to this information being available online for free, property owners can also request a certified copy of a deed if they need it for official or legal purposes. The cost to obtain a certified copy of a deed is $5 for the first page and $2 for each additional page. Often, a deed is only one or two pages. Uncertified copies are available at a cost of ten cents per page.
“If anyone ever questions any mail they receive, please call my office at 919-989-5160 immediately,” Mr. Olive said. “We would never want anyone to be scammed by these individuals, especially our elderly citizens. These people try to scare our citizens into thinking they must pay these outrageous fees to obtain these documents. I strive to be pro-active in this area and would never want to see anyone lose money in this way, for something that is not necessary.”
“Some of these mailings use the language ‘this is a solicitation and not a bill’ however, getting something in the mail can be alarming to our citizens and leave them wondering if they are required to respond. The land records recorded at the Register of Deeds Office are public record and it is not necessary to ever pay to be able to see a copy of a deed”, stated Mr. Olive.
If a citizen receives a similar mailing or if they know of citizens who paid money to this company, they are encouraged to contact the NC Department of Justice at 919-716-6000.
“I will continue to be pro-active in preventing such scams. I encourage citizens to be a part of our annual shred events to help prevent identity theft and where such mailings can be shredded,” Register of Deeds Olive told JoCoReport.