Don't fall for deed scam, clerk warns

Jul 29, 2013

Erie County officials are warning property owners about a scam making its way into local mailboxes.

Homeowners across the county have been receiving solicitations offering to sell them a certified copy of their deed for $69.50. County Clerk Chris Jacobs says that same deed is available at the Clerk's office for just a few dollars.  

Clerk Christopher Jacobs is advising property owners not to fall for a deed scam, making the rounds.
Credit erie.gov

"There is no need to pay for this and if you ever do want a certified copy, it's a service we provide for a nominal cost: $5 or, if you want us to mail you one, $10," Jacobs says.

Jacobs says the solicitation looks official in nature. But he says the company sending the letters, New York Record Retrieval Inc., is misleading homeowners into paying an excessive amount for something they can obtain for a fraction of the cost.

"What they're going to probably do if you make that request to get a $70 certified deed is they'll come back down to our office and pay $5, so they're going to make over $60 on you," Jacobs told WBFO News.

Jacobs says while the enterprise is not illegal, it is disingenuous. He says if you receive one of the letters, you should just throw it away.

“Property owners need to be constantly on guard against solicitations such as these, which charge an exorbitant fee to provide a service that County government does for a small fraction of the cost,” said County Executive Mark Poloncarz, in a statement. “It’s easy to miss the fine print on these scams."