Apr 4, 2017

Posted in Blog - "Altman Speaks"

How to Spot a Scam in the Mail

Last year, we posted about clients receiving what looks like official mail from a “Local Records Office” billing them for a copy of the deed to their property.  It’s a scam that is clearly paying off because the shady companies behind the letters continue to send them out. A client recently sent us a similar version of the same old scam.  This one was labeled “RECORDED DEED NOTICE” in all caps and bold across the top.

The clever labeling, pressing “respond by” date and official sounding language is 100% intended to confuse and alarm people, compelling them to act quickly in fear of missing a deadline.

Leveraging public records, these companies include just enough of your personal information to convince you that they are indeed official. Then, they offer you three convenient methods to get this $83 monkey (aka “document fee”) off of your back – mail a check, pay by phone or pay online.

However, if you take the time to read all the way through the intentionally wordy document, you should find some kind of language (required by law) that indicates that this is a solicitation, not a bill.

Whether it is a suspicious letter, bill or e-mail, when in doubt, always ask a trusted advisor before remitting payment. Certainly, feel welcome to give us a call. We’ll help you determine whether or not you need to respond.

Related article: “Pre-Grave Robbing: The Financial Abuse of Elders”


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