CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign County Recorder of Deeds is warning people about a scam that has been going around the community.
Recorder of Deeds Mike Ingram said the scam comes in the form of letters. “The letters, originating from fake-but-trying-to-sound-official places like ‘Local Records Office’ in Pekin, or ‘Records Recovery Services’ in Naperville, do not appear to be attempts to phish any information from homeowners. Rather, it is just an attempt by the sender to insert themselves into the middle between the Recorder’s office and the homeowner in order to make some quick money.”
Ingram stated the scammers use public information about your property to seem official and then ask for around $80-$100 for a copy of your deed–which is also known as a title. “People do not always understand the difference between home deeds and car titles and this adds to the confusion,” said Ingram. “When you buy a new house or piece of property, even if you do so via mortgage, the deed is now in your name. The mortgage is just a recorded lien on the property, and when you pay it off the deed does not change, nor are you sent a copy. It always resides at our office.”
Champaign County homeowners can always get a copy of their deed from the Recorder’s office, according to Ingram. The copy is free.
You can get your copy by going to the Brookens Administrative Building. You can also email to Recorder’s Office to get a PDF version.
If you have any questions regarding possible fraudulent activity, Ingram said you can sign up for free alerts online to know whenever a document with your name has been filed in their office.