Homeowner warns others about property information scam

(WMC-TV) - A Tipton County man is warning other homeowners after he almost fell for a scam that could have lead to his identity being stolen.

W.D. Knight recently transferred a piece of property in rural Tipton County into his name.

And about thirty days later, he received this letter in the mail asking for his money so he could get a copy of his deed.

"$89 was the fee they had and I knew it wasn't something I was required or felt like I was required to do," Knight says.

Knight felt like something wasn't right with the letter, so he took it to Tipton County's Register of Deeds, Claudia Peeler.

She was already familiar with the letter, saying her daughter in Middle Tennessee had also received the same letter.

"It's from a FedEx store...they've rented a box at a store in Nashville on Church Street," adds Tipton County Register of Deeds Claudia Peeler.

The thing is, in Tipton County, and most counties in Tennessee, property information is practically free at county courthouses.

"The copies of your deed and map, we usually charge a quarter a page for while they're asking $89 for the same info," Peeler continues.

Peeler says there's no way to trace who's getting the money.

She says most personal property information is easily accessible -- and free -- on the Internet.

Peeler says she's afraid residents' identities are being stolen.

"They only take checks so that means they have your personal information, router number, checking number..so all that's going to somebody we have no idea who it is," she adds.

W.D. Knight says he's glad he didn't fall for the same scam.

"Money, when they required a fee, I figured it was something I was supposed to do, I wouldn't have to pay for it," says Knight.

He hopes other residents keep an eye out and don't for the scam either.

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