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Scam Alert: Exorbitant Bills for Freely Available Property Records

The Buncombe County Register of Deeds wants to make sure you don’t overpay for documents that are readily available for free or at-cost. Currently, a California-based company is taking advantage of open records laws to obtain names and addresses of people who have recently purchased property. The company then sends a letter that deceptively looks like a bill in exchange for records related to the property transfer. County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger says it seems the elderly are being intentionally targeted. “It’s frustrating to see the elderly being taken advantage of by this disingenuous group,” says Reisinger.

The Buncombe County Register of Deeds will never send you an unsolicited bill. Further, you can obtain property transfer documents from the Register of Deeds for free electronically or for 25-cents a page at our downtown office. If you have received a bill asking for money in exchange for property transfer information, please do not hesitate to call the Register of Deeds at (828) 250-4302 or email register@buncombecounty.org. “We want to ensure that nobody falls for this scam. If you have any confusion or questions concerning what you believe might be a bill for property transfer information, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office,” says Reisinger.

If you believe you have sent money to this company, please contact the North Carolina Attorney General’s office at (919) 716-6000 or online at ncdoj.gov.

Below is a picture of one of these scam letters.