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November 2, 2017

One of our Notaries help put three dangerous felons away!

Filed under: General Stories,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 1:05 am

Most Notaries aspire to the most minimal standards and will not take an action unless required by law. Some Notaries don’t even do the legal minimum while a few will go slightly above the legal minimum when there is much more that they can do. As far as journal entries go, most states do not require a journal. However, the journal is your only evidence in court of what happened at your transaction. Additionally, the journal thumbprint which most of you refuse to ask for is your only ammunition to catch identity thieves. If someone uses a false ID, you will not have a paper trail leading to them. However, with a thumbprint, the authorities can catch the bad guys in many cases. Most of our Notaries say, “I’m not legally required to keep a journal, so since I keep one, that is good enough for me.” But, without a thumbprint or proper journal keeping, the Notary can be named as a suspect in an investigation which would be a huge nightmare.

One of our Notaries in Northern California helped the FBI catch three dangerous frauds! She did not catch them by doing the minimum like most of you out-of-state Notaries do. She kept journal thumbprints of almost all of her transactions. California requires a journal thumbprint for Deeds affecting real property and Power of Attorney documents. However, this Notary went above and beyond the law and kept thumbprints for most of her other acts as well.

The worst criminal caught by the FBI was involved in a Ponzi scheme who got 15 years. The FBI came to the Notary’s house, borrowed her journal with a warrant for seach and seizure, and gave the journal back after it went to forensics for a few days. It was the thumbprint that was the piece of evidence that nailed the bad guy.

The next criminal was an identity thief who got two years of hard time. Once again, this guy was caught based solely on a thumbprint.

There was a third fraud caught who I do not have information about. But, the cases I am writing about were documented in newspapers and were famous. I feel proud that one of our Notaries helped catch bad guys. But, what about the rest of you who negligently shrug their shoulders when ask to take journal thumbprints.

The common excuse is that the companies they work for or sometimes their states object to Notaries asking for thumbprints as it is invasive or upsetting to the signers. But, without a thumbprint, someone could drain the equity out of your home and not even get caught so easily. So, do you want identity thieves to rob you blind or would you prefer to have better record keeping practices? Without those thumbprints, those frauds would still be wandering around victimizing hundreds of other unsuspecting victims. The next victim might be you. So, start taking thumbprints even if your law doesn’t require it.


You might also like:

Notice to Title Companies from 123notary about Thumbprinting

10 risks to being a notary public

Notarizing a kidnapper



  1. “One of our Notaries in Northern California helped the FBI catch three dangerous frauds! She did not catch them by doing the minimum like most of you out-of-state Notaries do.”

    Your presentation and tone are presumptuous and insulting to the very people you want to participate and purchase listings on your site. Several “out-of-state” notaries go above and beyond and many use a CA journal even though it is not required for our states. There is no call for your dismissive condescension. Perhaps you could lighten up on the judgmental rhetoric and do something more than “negligently shrug” your shoulders at your own spelling and grammar in your blog post tirades.

    Comment by M Whitaker — November 3, 2017 @ 5:59 pm

  2. Unfortunately collecting biometrics isn’t legal in all states. I know you already posted this. Would you consider revising it to include prohibited states. Don’t need to tell you not everyone is going to do their research.

    Comment by Ac — February 13, 2018 @ 10:53 am

  3. I too require
    Thumbpronts on all signings. Its just an easier protocol than not.

    Comment by Linda — February 16, 2018 @ 11:49 pm

  4. Personally, I don’t appreciate the negative comments being posted. I can only assume they are being posted by disgruntled people who failed the telephone test. Move along…

    Comment by Cathy — June 2, 2018 @ 1:44 am

  5. I make all items I notarize with thumb print reason is it’s not going to fall on me for some idiot who is trying to be fraud another. Never once have I had someone refuse to thumbprint. Thanks

    Comment by Michelio — January 4, 2019 @ 11:58 pm

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