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June 14, 2007


Bay City News Service



San Mateo officials warn of property records scam



San Mateo County's chief elections official is warning about a mail solicitation scam offering residents copies of property records for prices 20 times higher than the county itself offers.


"There is absolutely no need to pay an outside service such a high fee for a copy of a deed,'' Chief Elections Officer Warren Slocum said.


The company, National Deed Service, Inc., sends out mailings offering a real estate document copying service for $59.50, according to Slocum.


A typical deed in San Mateo County can be obtained for only $3 at the county Elections Office, according to Slocum.


According to Slocum, though the solicitation letter does state that many government records are available free or at a low cost from government agencies, he warned that such offers often attempt to prey on new homeowners, widows or widowers, and recent immigrants.


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