Johnston register of deeds issues scam warning

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SMITHFIELD — Johnston County Register of Deeds Craig Olive is warning residents about a scam involving a company called Property Profile Inc. from Glendora, California.

“It has come to my attention that Property Profile Inc. is mailing a notice with the title ‘Recorded Deed Notice’ to property owners in Johnston County”, said Olive. “In the mailing, property owners are instructed to send this company a service fee of $86 by a certain date in order to obtain a current grant deed and property assessment profile.”

Olive said other companies have used similar schemes to extract money from property owners on the premise of obtaining these documents.

But these documents, said Olive, are available at no charge via the county Register of Deeds website, www.jcrod.org.

Property owners can also obtain a certified copy of a deed if they need it for official or legal purposes.

The cost for a certified copy of a deed is $5 for the first page and $2 for each additional page. Uncertified copies are available at a cost of 10 cents per page.

“If anyone ever questions any mail they receive, please call my office at 919-989-5160 immediately,” said Olive. “We would never want anyone to be scammed by these individuals, especially our elderly citizens. These people try to scare our citizens into thinking they must pay these outrageous fees to obtain these documents. I strive to be proactive in this area and would never want to see anyone lose money in this way for something that is not necessary,” said Olive.

Some of these mailings include a disclaimer statement reading, “This is a solicitation and not a bill.”

“However, getting something in the mail can be alarming to our citizens and leave them wondering if they are required to respond,” said Olive “The land records recorded at the Register of Deeds office are public record and it is not necessary to ever pay to be able to see a copy of a deed.”

If anyone receives a similar mailing or has paid Property Profile, Olive said residents should call the N.C. Department of Justice at 919-716-6000.

“I will continue to be proactive in preventing such scams,” said Olive. “ I encourage citizens to be a part of our annual shred events to help prevent identity theft and where such mailings can be shredded.”