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Deed scam surfaces again locally

Several homeowners in Johnson County have contacted the local register of deeds office regarding final notifications they received concerning their land deeds. In April of 2012, this same scam was sent from the Record Retrieval Department in Nashville, Tennessee where the mailer suggested homeowners should purchase a copy of their deed. The most recent mailings have come from both Local Records Office out of Nashville and Secured Documents Services in Washington, DC.
As in prior notifications sent to homeowners, the mailer list purchase or transfer dates, document numbers, land value identification, legal property address, property zones and property identification number. The deed processing notice from both Nashville and Washington, DC indicate they are not affiliated, approved or endorsed by any government agency. Local Records Office is charging $89 for a copy of your deed and property profile, while Secured Document Services is charging $86 for the same information.
Other areas in Tennessee have also reported similar scams. As the case with Johnson Countians, the notification comes on an official looking document. As checks are the means of payment, concerns have been raised this could lead to identify theft as the homeowners’ personal information could now be in the wrong hands. The letters appear to be sent soon after a property transaction.
According to Trish Hartley, Register of Deeds for Johnson County, property deeds are a matter of public record and are available at the Johnson County Court House. “You don’t need to pay $86 when you can pay 25 cents apiece for a copy,” said Hartley.