Genesee County Clerk Don M. Read is advising the public of two scams that have been spreading across the state and have recently surfaced here in mailboxes and on computers. The first involves a letter offering to provide a copy of your deed and related property information and the second is an email that suggests you have an unanswered motor vehicle ticket.
Property owners may receive by mail or email a solicitation offering to do the research and secure a certified copy of the deed to your real estate for a fee of $87. Several years ago this approach made its way through the state with a price tag of $50. Before that the offer was for $35. You can very easily obtain either a plain photocopy of your deed for $2 or a certified copy for approximately $5 from the Genesee County Clerk’s Office. The actual cost could vary by $2 to 3, depending upon the length of your deed. If you would like a copy of your deed, you can write, call or stop by the County Clerk’s Office. It only takes a few minutes to obtain a copy.
The company offering the so-called service on the letter which a local resident brought to our office is Record Retrieval Services of Albany, New York. They offer to provide you with a copy of the deed and a “Property Profile” for $87 if you respond by a specified date. The information in the supposed “Property Profile” (Tax Map Number, purchase date, sale amount, etc.) is readily available online. To access the information call the County Real Property Tax Office @ 585-344-2550, ext. 2225, or visit the website for real property data @ www.oarsystem.com/ny/geneseecounty/
There is no charge for this information.
A second scam that has surfaced recently involves an email supposedly from the N.Y. State Department of Motor Vehicles or the New York State Police. Individuals will receive an email suggesting that they have an unpaid ticket for a motor vehicle violation, with the subject line indicating “Uniform Traffic Ticket.” Generally, the ticket is from a small community somewhere in New York State. In order to avoid suspension of your license you will need to open an attachment, enter a plea on a ticket form and return it to the town court that is identified.
Opening the attachment may very well expose your computer to a virus. The address of the town court is bogus and usually a post office box. Neither the Department of Motor Vehicles nor the New York State Police send out notifications of this sort by email. Your best course of action is to delete the email without even opening it, and certainly do not open the attachment. The State Police and DMV have requested that you not send the email to them.