Fraud Galore: Unclaimed Money & Real Estate Scams

We are deluged with scams today — whether it be by email, mail or telephone. Always have your guard up and if in doubt, never give out your personal information! 

Cell Phone Spam: Yesterday, I received what looked to be a legitimate call on my cell phone. As soon as I picked it up, I noticed the lack of professionalism on the other end and hung up. I later googled the phone number, and it was indeed a real phone number for PECO. However, scammers can now “spoof” legitimate numbers, so be very cautious. 

Unclaimed Money: A number of clients over the years have brought me letters sent to them by companies that will help them get new-found, unclaimed money for a nice hefty fee. You can do this yourself in Pennsylvania by going to https://www.patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property. It is simple to search, and if there are unclaimed funds, you can fill out a form yourself and submit it. You don’t need to pay a company a fee to help you with this.

Real Estate Scams: Finally, be aware that if you transfer your home to a relative, trust, etc. (i.e., quitclaim deed), you may receive a letter from an unscrupulous company offering to provide you with a certified copy of your deed for a fee or some other related scam. These letters are a scam—the only fees you’ll ever have to pay are the following: Deed preparation fee to a title company or attorney, deed recording fee paid directly to the county, and sometimes real estate transfer tax, also paid to the county. If you receive a letter like this and you’re in doubt, send me a copy and I can help you determine whether it’s a scam.

Have you seen any potential scams that have caught your eye? Send them over my way and we’ll include another post in the future on this topic.