Scammer Must Stop Selling 'Dirty Deeds'

Deed copies
Deed copies

Washington state residents who responded to a bogus letter ordering them to cough up nearly $100 for a copy of their deeds will be refunded, and the scammer who sent them the letter has settled with the Washington Attorney General's office.

Some 5,000 Washington residents received letters last year from the "State Record Retrieval Board," a non-existent organization whose Olympia address listed on the spurious notifications is a UPS Store drop box.

The letters directed recipients to mail $87 to obtain a copy of their property deed and warned of a $35 penalty if they missed the tight deadline. Legitimate copies of property deeds, the attorney general's office notes, can be obtained from county auditors for approximately $10.

At least 45 hapless residents responded to the mailers with checks, but the attorney general's Office says they were misled and are owed refunds.