Scam Targets First-Time Homeowners

Yet another scam is making the rounds across the state, as Marshall County Auditor Penny Lukenbill recently warned taxpayers about a scam that seems to focus on targeting first-time homeowners.

The bill appears to originate from a Washington, D.C. company and asks the homeowner to pay $83 for a copy of their property deed – information which is publicly available in the recorder’s office and can be printed any time for a fee of just $1 per page. Typical deeds are only two pages long.

Scrupulous taxpayers might notice that the bill – which is actually not a bill at all, rather a solicitation – mentions a due date and threatens a late fee of $35. However, the bottom of the letter indicates that the receiver is under no obligation to pay the amount stated. This scam is not illegal, so despite her best efforts to have the company cease and desist mailing it to the county, Recorder Marlene Mahler said there’s nothing they can do.

If you receive a letter similar to this, ignore it. If you would like a copy of your property deed, visit the county recorder’s office on the second floor of the Marshall County Building, or call Mahler at (574) 935-8515. The deed can be obtained for $1 a page, saving gullible taxpayers at least $80.