Billing Notice or Scam Alert?
Scams are designed to trick people into giving away their money or personal information. While many people think scams target only certain groups of individuals, the reality is anyone can be a victim of a scam. That's why it is important that everyone stays informed and vigilant.
Recently, our team at Glover Court Solutions & Estate Planning has noticed an increase in billing notices being mailed out to people who have either (1) formed a new business or non-profit in the state of Arizona, or (2) recorded a deed in the state of Arizona.
New Business or Non-Profit
At first glance, the above document appears to coincide with the formation of a new business. (Personal and identifying information has been redacted.) Expenses are to be expected when forming a new business, and for anyone who has never gone through the process, this document may appear to be a legitimate part of the process. In reality, you can obtain a copy of your Certificate of Good Standing online for $10.00 (not $77.25) paid directly to the Arizona Corporation Commission, when/if a Certificate of Good Standing is required by a third party (which it rarely is).
Unfortunately, with business filings being public records in Arizona, anyone can see that you have recently formed a new business, setting you up to be the perfect target for a "fee" notice such as this.
New Deed Recorded in Arizona
The other type of notice we have been encountering lately is received after a person records a deed. We are seeing these Record Deed Notices primarily with the recording of beneficiary deeds and deeds transferring ownership of a property to a Revocable Living Trust; however, we are also seeing them with the recording of quit claim deeds and special warranty deeds.
Similar to the Certificate of Good Standing Request Form notices, the Record Deed Notices are not from a government entity and are not required as part of the process for transferring your property. Both types of notices appear to be legitimate billing statements, but are nothing more than marketing materials used by companies in a misleading way.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
Any time you receive a mysterious bill, read the entire document. Look for key details and verbiage such as "This is not a bill," or "This is not a government entity." Those should always be red flags.
If you are working with an attorney, real estate agent, lender, or other professional for the processing of your paperwork, check with them first. They will have the knowledge of the industry to be able to quickly identify whether you are potentially being scammed or not. They can also help you to find more cost effective ways of obtaining the information that these misleading companies are trying to sell you.
If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you may be involved in a legal matter, contact Glover Court Solutions & Estate Planning to discuss your options. While, we cannot give legal advice, we can provide general legal information to help you navigate your case. We also network with dozens of qualified attorneys throughout the Valley whom we would be happy to refer you to in the unlikely event we are unable to help.