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Consumer Alert: Avoid paying unnecessary fees for official property documents

Be careful paying for official documents. If you have trouble finding your official government or financial documents, be certain they’re not available for free or for minimal fees through the relevant government agency. Don’t pay for them from a third-party company unless you’re absolutely sure you can’t get them cheaper.

Recently, private businesses have been sending official-looking “Recorded Deed Notice” mailings to consumers that offer to provide a property assessment profile for a $86 fee. If you receive such information, please know that much of the information included in this assessment profile can be obtained at no cost or a nominal fee from your Register of Deeds office or the County Tax Assessor’s office, or online through the agency that maintains real estate documents and financial information where you live. You do not need to pay a separate company to get these official documents.

If a company contacts you and you’re unsure of their authenticity, please call our office’s Consumer Protection Division. If you believe that you have been the victim of a scam in the process of trying to obtain these documents, you can file a consumer complaint with our office’s Consumer Protection Division at ncdoj.gov/complaint or 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.