This is a true story.

scam“Grandma? is that you?”
“Who is this?”
Distraught, “Grandma, don’t you recognize my voice?”
“Is this Sara?”
“Yes, it is. Grandma, I’m in trouble and I need your help, but first promise me you won’t call my parents. Promise?”
“Okay sweetie. Just tell me what is wrong?”
Crying and hysterical, “I’m in trouble Grandma, I made a bad choice and I need your help.”

This and other scams are on the rise. The above scenario is happening all over the country. One Grandmother wired $12,000.00 dollars in a 36-hour period to a Mexican post office. Two days later she called her real granddaughter and discovered Sara had not been in Mexico and had not called her. The grandmother was unable to recover the money.

Other scams include traditional mail, e-mail or phone calls suggesting that your bank account, credit cards or other investments have been compromised. They request that you prove who you are by providing them with your personal information. Professional institutions will never ask for your personal information. Your company has fraud numbers available on their websites or on the back of your credit card for you to use to verify if anyone from their company is trying to contact you. Keep them handy and don’t be afraid to use them.

A recent scam is an official envelope and a letter requesting $83.00 to acquire a copy of your deed and a property report. It looks legitimate and it has a lot of your information on the document which makes it appear even more official. There is a significant amount of information available through public records. Scam artists know this. Don’t be fooled.

If you would like a copy of your deed or deeds and live in Maricopa County, Arizona, you can purchase an official copy online by going to, searching for your property, and then clicking on the “Buy Document” at the bottom of the page and paying by credit card. Or you can purchase a copy from the Maricopa County Recorder in person or by mail. Copies are $1.00 per page.

If you are mailing a request, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope or add an extra $1.00 for mailing purposes. The addresses are:

Maricopa County Recorder
111 S. Third Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00P.M. Monday-Friday
Phone: 602-506-3535 T.D.D. 602-506-2348

Maricopa County Recorder
222 E. Javelina
Mesa, AZ 85210
Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00P.M. Monday-Friday
Phone: 602-506-3535 T.D.D. 602-506-2348

The procedure in other Arizona counties will be very similar. Check online or call your Country Recorder for details.

These are professional scam artists. They are good at their job. Do not hesitate to ask for their number. Call the appropriate authorities and verify who they say they are.

Don’t be bullied or manipulated into a scam. A legitimate company will expect you to want to verify their legitimacy.