An Absurd Forgery of “my” Notarization
I have just been speaking with an insurance company investigator. When the caller identified themselves I took the precaution of verifying the caller via several methods. Once convinced of the caller identity the facts were relayed to me. I then proved the document to be a forgery.
There were several interesting aspects to this particular identity thief. They managed to swindle a car dealership in the Midwest using a notary stamp clearly purporting to represent a New York notary – me. The stamp, to any New York notary appeared false, having both improper information (my address) and lacking required information (the primary county of my registry).
Thus, so far, the stamp is being “used” outside of its lawful jurisdiction and was improperly designed.
Now for the truly strange aspect: The document was a very brief Power of Attorney, ostensibly from the owner giving the Principal the right to receive the vehicle and register it. The seriously weird part was that the “notary” also was the Agent who received the authority.
I don’t know the notary rules where you are reading this, but I would guess that the applicable New York notary laws probably apply where you are reading these words.
To the best of my understanding (and common sense) the notary is not permitted to either be a part of the transaction nor have a financial interest in its outcome.
Strike One: The notary stamp is formulated improperly (of course the general public won’t know)
Strike Two: The notarization is taking place outside of the state indicated.
Strike Three: The forger forged the Principals signature and the Notary signature to make them the Agent at the car dealership and did indeed receive the vehicle.
Not wise in my opinion as the registration leaves footprints and a vehicle license plate to be caught.
So where am I going with this? We, as both active notaries and users of notary services are well aware of the various regulations that are applicable. So, rather than keeping that knowledge to ourselves, I ask the notaries to add “mini lessons” to their clients to educate them about the basics of notary law. The public will easily grasp the concept that a notary stamp that includes the name of a state can only be used within that state. They can also be informed that the notary must be totally “outside” of the transaction, not part of it in any way; especially with any financial or other gain.
Two simple concepts that would take but a moment to explain. As “officers of the court” holding commissions we have a duty to serve the public, not just collect fees from them.
You might also like:
Fraud & Forgery in the notary profession
Notarizing multi-page documents