Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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March 4, 2013

Oswego County Officials Warn of Deed Scam

OSWEGO - Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus and Real Property Tax Director Debra Mullenax are advising property owners of a direct mail scam involving deeds and property tax records.

Mullenax said an Oswego property owner recently brought in a letter from a business called "Property Transfer Service" which offered to provide a copy of the homeowner's deed and complete property profile for $83. The documents had a return address in Washington, DC with instructions to send checks to a processing center in Westlake Village, CA.

A certified deed can be obtained at the Oswego County Clerk's office at 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego for $5. Property tax records are public record and are posted on the Real Property section of the Oswego County Web site at http://rptsweb.oswegocounty.com/search.aspx.

Backus said that when a piece of property is legally transferred, the new transaction is recorded in the County Clerk's Office and the new owner receives the original deed.

"If you misplace or lose the original copy of your deed, the County Clerk's Office can provide you a copy of the one on file in our records room," said Backus. "The cost is $5. It isn't necessary to pay a company to do this on your behalf."

Mullenax's office maintains a database on the Oswego County government Web site with property descriptions, assessments, and owner information for all parcels of property in Oswego County. "This information is public record and has been available on the county government Web site for years," said Mullenax. "There isn't any reason to pay a company in Washington D.C. or California for information on your property."

Those who have questions may call the County Clerk's Office at 349-8621 (tollfree 1-800-596-3200, ext. 8621), or the Real Property Tax Service at 349-8315 (tollfree 1-800-596-3200, ext. 8315), or visit the offices in the County Office Building, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego.

Below is an example of a "Property Transfer Service" letter.

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