NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Bogus letters are circulating around Davidson County claiming homeowners' deeds have been transferred, and to get a copy you must pay an $89 fee.
The Nashville/Davidson County Register of Deeds wants homeowners to know it’s a scam.
The letter reads the recipient’s property has a new owner and it even has an official-looking “Clerks Property Office” seal on it that is fake. It reads you can get a copy of the deed if $89 is paid by check, money order, or by providing credit card information. Also, the payment should be sent to a St. Petersburg, Florida address.
If you got this letter, it is an attempt to scam you. Dozens of homeowners have received the letter and many senior citizens have already been scammed out of money, according to County Register Karen Johnson.
Johnson said for starters, the clerk’s office would never ask for any credit card information to be sent in and they don't do mass mailings.
The office also doesn’t do any coordination with any entities outside of the state. In fact, Johnson said it’s free to get a copy of your deed, via email.
They do charge for copies in-person or if you request your deed to be mailed to you.
“What I would recommend is call us first when it has something to do with your property and with the ownership of your property. That's what we're here for — to ensure that that integrity stays intact with your documents and the ownership for your property,” Johnson explained.
Property and mortgage fraud is a growing issue and people are always looking to make quick cash.
Johnson encourages everyone to sign up for the free Nashville/Davidson County Property Alert Program. She said it’s the best way to know quickly and officially if any action has been taken on your property.
“We have a full staff of people here that are ready to help in any way to provide information and to help sign you up. So, if we have senior citizens that don't have access to computers or is unable to do this on their phone, we can help in that process,” Johnson said.
Users can sign up to monitor as many names as they wish, and when they receive an alert that something has been filed under any of those names, they can call the Register of Deeds Office at 615-862-6790 to speak with a real person or mail email@example.com.
The local authorities and the Better Business Bureau have been contacted about the fake letters and Johnson doesn’t want to see anyone else become a victim.
You can sign up for the Property Alert Program, here.