York County Registrar of Deeds Nancy Hammond is letting said residents can sign up for a free Fraud Alert program that notifies them know by email if a deed, mortgage, lien, or some other document is filed in their name. Tammy Wells photo

ALFRED – Scams are everywhere, perpetrated by telephone, email and other means.

Now, the York County Registry of Deeds is offering up a free service that can help people protect themselves from some types of fraud.

York County Registrar of Deeds Nancy Hammond said Fraud Alert, available to those who sign up on the registry website, notifies people when a document, like a deed or mortgage, is recorded under their name.

“If there is a deed, mortgage, lien, boundary survey or subdivision plan recorded in your name, that triggers an email alert,” said Hammond.

She said she’d had two people stop by the registry after receiving an email, and while in their case the document was legitimate, she said the service allows homeowners to know what is being filed in their name.

According to the FBI, one scam that has been perpetrated over the years involves the theft of personal information that could lead to the fraudulent transfer of property.

“From time to time, it is a good idea to check all information pertaining to your house through your county’s deeds office,” the FBI wrote in a guide to property owners. “If you see any paperwork you don’t recognize or any signature that is not yours, look into it.”

To sign up, visit https://www.yorkcountymaine.gov/registry-of-deed-splash and look for Fraud Alert Sign Up.

Hammond said people ask, “How can I protect my property,” and said this is one way to do so, with no fee involved.

She said one resident who was out of the country for a time asked if there was any way to be alerted when a document was recorded.

“At the time, there wasn’t,” said Hammond. “Now there is.”

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