The county clerk has issued a warning to homeowners in Lake County to be on the lookout for fake lien notice letters being sent out by scammers.
Lake County Clerk Anthony Vega said Wednesday that “official-looking” letters have recently been received by residents.
The documents may falsely, or even correctly, claim that there is a lien on a resident’s property.
The letters typically look like they originated from an official government office with names such as “Lake County Public Judgment Record.”
One of the letters that the clerk’s office obtained showed the resident being asked to send $90 for a copy of their property deed.
That copy is available for $1 from the Lake County Clerk’s Office.
“Please be aware of these letters as they can involve false information and requests for higher charges for documents and/or services than our office would charge,” Vega’s office said.
Another letter told a resident that a judgment was filed against them for unpaid taxes and a lien was filed, causing the balance to be categorized as “seriously delinquent.”
The letter said the balance “may be eligible for settlement” and the resident should “immediately” call a provided phone number to discuss.
Officials say the letters are misleading and aimed at costing residents unnecessary money.
Residents who receive a letter that does not have the Lake County seal on the envelope or an actual letter from a real government agency should review the small print, which may disclose the letter is actually a “third-party referral service.”
Anyone who receives a property-related notice and has doubts about it is encouraged to contact the Recording Division of the Lake County Clerk’s Office.
The division can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 847-377-2575.
“If you receive one of these suspicious letters, please let us know. We’re working hard to put a stop to this predatory activity and keep our community safe,” the clerk’s office said.
Homeowners are also encouraged to sign up for Property Check, which is a free online service that alerts subscribers whenever a document is recorded against their name and property.