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Posted: July 5, 2017

Pinellas Property Deed Letters – Don’t Fall for the Scam

Scams have a way of resurfacing every so often and deed scams are currently in the spotlight in Pinellas County. “Unfortunately, it seems to rear its ugly head every few years,” stated Ken Burke, Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. Pinellas County residents have once again started receiving official-looking letters emphasizing the importance of keeping a certified copy of your property deeds. However, this seemingly informative letter that primarily targets new home owners comes with the hefty price tag of $89.00. The catch is simple – it’s a solicitation scam.

Most citizens with a one page deed can easily obtain the same document from the Clerk’s office for $3.00 according to Clerk Burke. It’s $1.00 for the copy and $2.00 for the certification fee. Residents can also print an unofficial copy of their deed for free by using the Clerk’s website in just a matter of minutes.

The companies sending out these letters disclose in fine print that they are not affiliated with any state agency and that many records are available for nominal fees from government agencies. When asked why anyone would pay $89 for a copy of the deed, Clerk Burke simply says “It’s a rip off.”

If you have any questions, please call (727) 464-7000 or visit the Certified Deeds page.

To view the WFLA Channel 8 segment covering this scam, click here.

To view the Press Release, click here.

A copy of a letter received may be viewed here.

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