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Philadelphia PA Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

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.

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The Law Offices of Jeremy A. Wechsler assist clients with Estate Planning matters in Willow Grove, PA as well as Abington, Hatboro, Dresher, Horsham, Bryn Athyn, Huntingdon Valley, Fort Washington, Jenkintown, Glenside, Oreland, Warminister, Wyncote, Ambler, Elkins Park, Flourtown, Philadelphia, Warrington, Cheltenham, Gwynedd Valley, Jamison, Feasterville Trevose, Richboro, North Wales, Blue Bell, Lafayette Hill, King of Prussia, Collegeville, Oaks, Phoenixville, Oxford Valley, Langhorne, Penndel, Bristol, Fairless Hills, Bensalem, Plymouth Meeting, Furlong, Philadelphia County, Bucks County and Montgomery County.

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