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CUMBERLAND COUNTY SHERIFF WARNS OF “DEED SCAM” GOING AROUND

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The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Dept. is warning of scammers doing business under multiple names — including Record Transfer Services — and soliciting consumers nationwide who conducted recent real estate transactions. The company tries to trick people into paying more than $80 for property records that could be obtained for free online, or deeds that they can get for a few bucks from their county government. New homeowners are deceived by Record Transfer Services’ formal-looking letter, which looks like a government bill and asks for an $83 “document fee” for a deed and “real property records” by a certain deadline. The letter says to send money to Record Transfer Services — or one of its aliases, Property Transfer Services, Conveyance Transfer Services, Record Retrieval Department and National Deed Service — at an address in South Dakota, Delaware, California or Michigan. Reports have been filed with the Better Business Bureau on the different companies. At the bottom of the solicitation is a fine-print disclaimer that states: “The company Record Transfer Services is not affiliated with any government agency. … This offer serves as a solicitation for services and (is) not to be interpreted as a bill due.” A homebuyer doesn’t need a copy of the deed when he or she receives the original for free as part of the regular real estate transaction. The Register of Deeds Office automatically mails the original back to the homeowner once the transaction has been recorded. If additional copies are needed they can be obtained for a few dollars at the Register of Deeds Office. If you have received one of these documents and you have questions feel free to contact the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at (931) 484-6176 or Register of Deeds Office at (931) 484-5559.

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