June 27, 2016

Mostly sunny

County auditor warns of scam over deeds, public records

MEDINA — The Medina County Auditor’s Office once again is warning residents about companies offering to look up deeds or public records for a fee.

“It’s a slightly different version of an older scam that we saw in the middle of last year,” county Auditor Mike Kovack said.

An Ohio company has mailed letters to residents saying it recommends they get a copy of their “grant deed” and complete “property profile,” according to a news release from the auditor’s office.

Kovack said the Coshocton County auditor reported a similar mailing.

The mailing appears to be a bill with a due date, but says “this is not a bill” in smaller print. It may be targeting properties that recently have been transferred and are under the Homestead Exemption program, a tax reduction for property owners 65 and older, according to the auditor’s office.

The mailings offer to provide copies of the deed and property record for a fee of $80 or $90.

Kovack said that’s a ripoff because those records can be obtained for little or no charge from the county recorder and auditor’s offices.

The mailer also offers to include “comparable values” of the address, something that is not normally included in property records. But homeowners can do that research on their own by going to the county auditor’s website at www.medinacountyauditor.org and clicking on “Property Srch” on the tab at the top of the page and following directions on the site.

For more information on property research, call the auditor’s office at (330) 725-9754.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.