PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you recently bought a home in Philadelphia and received a letter requesting a fee for a copy of the deed, you are the victim of a scam uncovered by city and state investigators. The state is suing to get restitution for homeowners who paid the phony fee.
The letters looked very official, according to the city’s Inspector General Amy Kurland, complete with a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Seal.
“And it was supposed to be from the Philadelphia Deeds and Registry Office,” she said. “There’s no such office.”
Kurland says the city started getting complaints in March and started an investigation along with the State Attorney General and the Postal Service. They allege the letters were sent by Wanda D. Rogers. Attempts to reach Rogers were unsuccessful. Attorney General spokesman Jeffrey Johnson says the office decided on a consumer protection lawsuit.
“To recover restitution for consumers who were affected,” Johnson said, “and to prevent this conduct in the future.”
Authorities fear there were more victims who didn’t come forward. They can call Kurland’s office through 3-1-1, or the State Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.