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December 5, 2017

If you’re named as an identity theft conspirator, it could cost you $20,000 in legal fees

If you are named as a conspirator in an identity theft ring or identity theft case, you might be looking at some serious legal costs. Being a Notary is not safe, especially when you refuse to keep your books correctly (oh, but my state doesn’t require me to.) Excuses will not get you off the hook when you are a suspect in an identity theft case and when your journal doesn’t has a fake ID documents and no thumbprint (oh, but my state doesn’t require me to). Your state’s shoddy lack of requirements could cost you $20,000, but only if you choose not to keep proper records. Your state is not forbidding you from keeping good records. They just don’t require good records. It might be fun to just stamp things without keeping a record of what you did. But, the fun will go away when you are named in a law suit.

Legal costs might only be a few thousand, but could be as high as $20,000 in a worst case scenario.

Keeping a journal properly with:
1. One entry per person per document… i.e. if two signers each sign five documents that is ten journal entries.
2. Keep journal thumbprints as that is the only way the FBI can catch frauds if a fake ID is used (in many cases.)
3. Keeping additional notes about the signers might help in court such as mentioning tattoos, a nervous twitch, or anything else noteworthy.

Keeping good records is your responsibility as a good Notary whether required by law or not. Your refusal is pure obstinate and I won’t tolerate it for a minute. If you don’t understand good record keeping, the NNA teaches journal filling procedure quite well. So, consult them or risk possible legal consequences! Keeping your journal correctly doesn’t keep you out of court — it just normally shortens your time dealing with investigators and the court system to a few minutes instead of a few months. Take your pick!

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You might also like:

What’s your sign? Tricks to uncover fake identification.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19638

Notary Public 101 – Identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI or 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19483

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October 18, 2017

An identity fraud case in Florida with 13 defendants: 10 minutes w/a judge

Filed under: Popular on Linked In,Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:54 am

This case made the news and was going to be a Federal Case. There were 13 defendants named in this identity fraud case. The Notary had to spend a week filing out paperwork for court. Then she appeared before the judge in his private chamber. The judge spent ten minutes looking at the journal and filled out some forms and said, “Case dismissed.” The Notary did not have to go to court for a month or appear a second time. It was her journal that saved her butt.

The main defendant added a second name to a Deed and forged someone’s initial. An entire court battle just because of one forged signature. Don’t underestimate how dangerous notarizing Deeds can be, so take all the necessary precautions.

So, if you say, “But, my state doesn’t require me to keep a journal.” Ask yourself if you want to lose a month of your life trapped in court without pay.

Keeping a journal is not that hard, so don’t make a Federal case out of it otherwise you might be involved in a Federal case.

You might also like:

It could cost $20,000 in legal fees if you are named as an identity theft conspirator
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19481

$4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19477

10 risks to being a Mobile Notary Public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19459

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March 22, 2024

How Notaries Can Protect Themselves and Clients From Fraud

Filed under: Notary Public 101 — Tags: — Tom Wilkins @ 12:00 am

In the digital age, where transactions are increasingly performed online, the role of notaries has become even more critical. Homeowners and business owners alike must understand the importance of notarization in safeguarding against fraud. For notaries, especially those just beginning their practice, adopting mobile notary safety tips for beginners is essential for protecting themselves and their clients. This article aims to provide valuable insights into how notaries can enhance their fraud protection measures.

Understand the Risks

Fraud in notarization can take many forms, from identity theft to forgery. Notaries play a pivotal role in verifying the identity of signatories, ensuring that documents are signed willingly and under no duress. Recognizing the signs of potential fraud is the first step in prevention.

Implementing Strong Verification Processes

One of the most effective ways to prevent fraud is through rigorous verification processes. This includes checking multiple forms of identification and being aware of any signs that an ID might be forged. A critical mobile notary safety tip for beginners is always using up-to-date technology for ID verification, including apps and devices designed to detect fake IDs.

Keep Detailed Records

Maintaining detailed records of all notarial acts is not just a best practice; it’s a necessity for fraud prevention. This means keeping a well-organized journal that includes information about the signatories, the type of documents notarized, and the verification process used. In cases where fraud is suspected, these records can be invaluable in tracing the source and providing evidence.

Educate Your Clients

Education is a powerful tool in the fight against fraud. Notaries should take the time to inform their clients about the notarization process and its importance in preventing fraudulent activities. This includes explaining the role of notaries in verifying identity and the legal implications of notarization. By educating their clients, notaries build trust and empower their clients to be more vigilant.

Stay Informed and Update Your Skills

The methods used by fraudsters are constantly evolving, so staying informed about the latest fraud trends is crucial. Notaries should attend workshops, seminars, and other educational opportunities to keep their skills sharp and up-to-date. Additionally, joining professional notary associations can provide valuable resources and support.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Technology can be a double-edged sword, but when used correctly, it can significantly enhance the security of notarial acts. Employing digital journals, electronic notarization platforms, and secure communication channels for mobile notaries can help prevent fraud. However, it’s essential to ensure that any technology used complies with state laws and regulations regarding notarization.

Key Takeaways on Preventing Notary Fraud

Preventing fraud in notarization requires vigilance, education, and the adoption of best practices. By implementing strong verification processes, keeping detailed records, educating clients, staying informed about the latest fraud trends, and leveraging technology, notaries can significantly reduce the risk of fraud. Moreover, for those offering mobile notary services, following mobile notary safety tips for beginners is crucial in safeguarding themselves and their clients from potential fraud.

In conclusion, the fight against notary fraud is ongoing and requires a proactive approach from notaries. Remember, protecting your clients also means protecting your practice. As you look to grow your mobile notary business, remember to incorporate marketing tips for mobile notary services into your strategy. Doing that can help your client base while ensuring safety and integrity in your notarial acts.

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February 16, 2024

Notary Security: Tackling Cybersecurity Risks

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — Tom Wilkins @ 4:56 pm

In an era where digital transactions are becoming the norm, the importance of notary services remains undiminished. However, as notaries increasingly adopt digital platforms to offer their services, they also become vulnerable to cybersecurity risks. This vulnerability threatens the integrity of their practice and the trust of their clients—homeowners and business owners alike. Understanding these cybersecurity risks for notaries and adopting strategies to mitigate them is essential for safeguarding notarial practices and maintaining client trust.

The Digital Transition and Its Risks

The transition to digital notarization processes offers convenience and efficiency but also opens Pandora’s box of cybersecurity risks. These risks include phishing attacks, malware, data breaches, and identity theft. For notaries, the stakes are particularly high as they deal with sensitive personal and business information. A breach can lead to legal liabilities, financial loss, and damage to reputation.

Mitigating Cybersecurity Risks

  1. Regular Training and Awareness: One of the first steps in mitigating cybersecurity risks for notaries is ensuring that they and their staff are aware of the potential threats and how they manifest. Regular training sessions on recognizing phishing emails, secure password practices, and the importance of regularly updating software can go a long way in preventing cyber-attacks.
  2. Secure Digital Platforms: Notaries must ensure that the digital platforms they use for their services are secure and compliant with industry standards. This includes using encrypted communication channels, secure document storage solutions, and robust authentication methods to protect the identity and data of their clients.
  3. Data Protection Policies: Implementing strict data protection policies is crucial. This includes controlling access to sensitive information, regularly backing up data, and having a clear protocol for responding to data breaches. These policies protect against cyber threats and build client trust by demonstrating a commitment to data security.
  4. Cybersecurity Insurance: Given the potential financial impact of a cyber-attack, investing in cybersecurity insurance can provide an additional layer of protection for notaries. This insurance can cover the costs associated with data breaches, including legal fees, notification expenses, and regulatory fines.
  5. Client Education: Educating clients about the importance of cybersecurity and how they can protect their information is also an important strategy. This can include advising clients on secure document transmission methods and alerting them to the potential signs of cyber fraud.

The Importance of Cybersecurity in Maintaining Trust

For homeowners and business owners, the assurance that their sensitive information is protected is paramount. Notaries play a critical role in various transactions, and a breach in cybersecurity can significantly undermine client trust. By adopting comprehensive cybersecurity measures, notaries can protect themselves from the financial and legal repercussions of cyber-attacks and strengthen clients’ trust in their services.

Strengthening Notary Security

The digital age brings numerous advantages but also new vulnerabilities, particularly in the field of notarization. Understanding and tackling cybersecurity risks for notaries is not just about protecting data; it’s about safeguarding the foundation of trust upon which their practice is built. By implementing rigorous cybersecurity measures and staying informed about the latest threats, notaries can protect themselves, their clients, and the integrity of their services. As we continue to navigate these digital waters, remember that the security of your practice is paramount. And just as a note of practicality, akin to how often are Fedex drop boxes checked, your cybersecurity measures should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure the highest level of protection.

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November 26, 2020

Five things a Notary can do worth $1000 per minute

Originally posted in 2018

Asking for reviews
Each minute you spend asking for a review can come back to you in the form of gold. It only takes a minute to ask, and if you ask enough people, you will get a handful of reviews which will double your incoming calls from 123notary. The next thing you know you will have repeat clients from those initial calls which you earned based on your reviews and you will be making lots more money.

Studying for certification
It takes a few hours to study for certification. But, the results can last a lifetime. Each minute of studying might be worth $1000 in the long term. So, whatever else you are doing. is it worth $1000 per minute? And what if I’m wrong and your study time is only worth $50 per minute. That is still more than a neurosurgeon makes. Speaking of neurology, my sciatic nerve hurts.

Call your old contacts
If you haven’t heard from someone, you could revive a long term client. That could be worth thousands.

Fix up your notes section
If I spent three minutes fixing up someone’s notes section, they get 55% more clicks. But, you can put more content in your notes and read up on what we recommend. We have a vast section all about how to fix up your notes. It takes very little effort, but could change your career.

Summary
There are many things a Notary can do to better themselves. The problem is, that Notaries have established habits, and don’t see the value of doing what 123notary says they should do. Those who listen to us often prosper in a huge way. What is the harm in going through a check list and just doing what makes sense? Getting more reviews could get you an additional hundred clients per year which could translate into thousands of jobs. What is that worth? And how much time did it take to get those extra clients? Two hours of asking for reviews, and you get $100,000 in extra income? That translates into about $1000 per minute. If you do the math, you will be kicking yourself for not focusing your time on priorities.

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You might also like:

If you are named as an identity theft conspirator it could cost you $20,000 in legal fees.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19481

$300 in 13 minutes. How Carmen cleans up in the Notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19284

How long should you wait to get paid?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19347

123notary elite Certification Study guide
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20118

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November 16, 2020

Notary fined $385 for botching a Notarization

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 10:49 am

Originally posted in 2018

Many of the Notaries on our site are so incompetent about communication and Notary practices that I shutter to list them. The fact is that I am not always informed when Notaries get in trouble. I would like to hear more stories of Notaries who goof and get in trouble because I want to learn how to prevent the problems from happening in the future.

The fact is that a Notary in Louisiana (I don’t remember clearly the name of the state but think it is Louisiana) did a Notary job for a loan signing. The Notary was new and had no idea what she was doing. There were numerous mistakes on dates, signatures, notarizations, etc. In fact there were so many mistakes that the Lender make the Notary pay for the redraw of documents. The bill came out to $385. Ouch. What a nasty surprise for this enthusiastic but clueless Notary.

The moral of the story is that you cannot just get a Notary seal and start working without knowing what you are doing. The states don’t prepare you at all for Notary work. Even California gives very little hands on training. NNA certified notaries have been trained in some basic aspects of loan signing, but that course does not teach basic Notary knowledge. So, if you think you “know what you are doing” because you are NNA certified, try taking NNA’s Notary Essentials course first. It is better to know how to be a Notary than a loan signer, because most of the mistakes notaries make are either rudeness, leaving people high and dry, not following directions, or you guessed it — Notary mistakes. Notaries very rarely get in trouble for not knowing their loan documents and rarely get in trouble for dating an RTC wrong although it could happen.

So, become an expert at being a Notary. You can get into trouble with me if you don’t and trouble with the law, lenders and customers as well. Knowledge is power and ignorance comes at a high expense.

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You might also like:

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because a fraud added a name to the certificate
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19477

If you’re named as an identity theft conspirator, it could cost you $20,000 in legal fees.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19481

Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI or 123notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19483

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November 4, 2020

10 risks to being a Mobile Notary Public.

Filed under: Notary Mistakes,Popular on Facebook (some) — admin @ 12:59 am

Originally posted Oct 19, 2017.

Notarize at your own risk. Being a Notary is NOT safe!

Many of you think that being a Notary is an easy way to make a few extra bucks. Stamp a piece of paper, get $10, easy, right? Then you deal with nitpicky signing companies who make you fax things back and you get mad, right? That is an annoyance, but not the bigger problem. Being a Notary is dangerous, particular when you don’t do your job correctly. Most Notaries feel that you look at an ID and if it is close enough and the photo looks like the guy, that you are doing your job, right? Sort of. Here are some itemized risks to being a Notary Public.

1. Hoarders
If you go to someone’s house and they have things stacked to the ceiling, you might be in danger in their house. The signer doesn’t want to hurt you. It is just that they cannot control their psychological disease that causes them to engage in hoarding. My housemate is like this and she has stuff stacked to the ceiling which is dangerous and a fire hazard. Something could fall on you or you could get trapped in a fire.

2. Bio-hazards
Some homes that are not cleaned properly are dangerous. One house Carmen almost went into had some bacterial infection that would have gone straight to her lungs and caused her to go to the hospital. If a house smells funny, maybe you are not safe in there. If it is not ventillated properly, perhaps you should stay away. Poor hygene can be deadly, so be advised.

3. Dogs
Some neighborhoods have unsafe dogs around. Notaries could be harrassed or bitten by dogs. Carrying pepper spray or mace is not a bad idea.

4. Slummy neighbors
You might go to a signing in a bad area and people nearby might be hanging out who look unsavory. I am not sure if this is dangerous, but some people get upset.

5. Angry borrowers.
One Notary got pushed off a flight of stairs and broke her wrist. The borrower didn’t like his APR and I guess the Notary didn’t educate themself on how to give a professional explanation of the APR either. The borrower ended up in jail very quickly and the Notary healed in two months.

6. FBI and lawsuits
Roughly 2% of full-time Notaries will end up in court or with an FBI investigation for being involved with identity theft. If you do not keep a thorough journal with thumbprints and the right amount of journal entries, you are much more likely to be held in court as a witness, suspect, or cause yourself extended grief. Without a thumbprint, the investigators are often helpless to catch really really bad people. So, help them out and keep thumbprints. Do your part to safeguard mankind.

7. Getting sued by a borrower
One borrower got mad and sued the Lender, Title company and the Notary when the Notary had done nothing wrong. The Notary tried to use their E&O insurance, but the company wouldn’t pay out because the Notary had not made any error or omission. Of all the bad luck. So, the Notary lost $30,000 in legal fees. Talk about bad karma.

8. Getting sued by the bar association
If you life in an Attorney state and do loan signings without a law license, the bar association might come after you. Good grief.

9. Jeremy might phone quiz you.
Many Notaries who thought they had it together got a phone call from the infamous Jeremy (that’s me) and failed an over the phone quiz. They rationalized, “I’ve been doing this 30 years and therefore I know what I’m doing.” My rationalization is, “Not if you got 18% on my quiz which consists of very easy and every day notary questions.” You might not lose any money, but you could lose your dignity if you score less than 70%. So, study up!

10. Your seal could be stolen
It happened to me. I had to write to the Secretary of State. My car was broken into and I lost my seal, embosser and journal. What a tragedy. It took me two and a half weeks to be back in business. Think of all the money I lost not to mention the trauma of being robbed of my most prized possession — my inkless embosser that I used as a secondary seal to deter fraud! Boo-hoo.

There is also the risk of traffic accidents and having one of those talking GPS systems that talks back to you when you get in the wrong lane, but I won’t include details of those problems as they are common to all humans who drive and not just to Notaries. The end!

.

You might also like:

13 ways to get sued as a Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because a fraud adds a name to a Notary Acknowledgment.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19477

Compilation of posts about Notary fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21527

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November 20, 2019

Your notary stole your private information and sold it.

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — admin @ 5:50 am

Good God! Did this really happen? I don’t know. How would you know? But, imagine that it did.

Let’s say a Notary came to your house and took all of your social security information and other information from the loan application. There is a lot of sensitive information there.

Or perhaps the notary went to the bathroom, rummaged through your house and came up with some sensitive information. You might not find out right away. But, later on you might be a victim of identity theft. What a nightmare. Is there a way to protect yourself from your Notary? Should you even be concerned?

Honestly, this is the last thing you should worry about. The worst I have heard a Notary do is to not show up, leave you high and dry, be rude, or steal your oxy-codene (which is a serious crime.) If a Notary stole your morphene, then you wouldn’t have it at your most anxious moment — anxious because someone stole your morphene. That sounds like an oxymoron. Okay, the morphene theft not so much but the oxy-codene theft could sound like an oxymoron.

Another piece of information the notary has is your loan terms. He could try to sell the borrower a competitive product based on the private information he is privy to.

So, don’t lose sleep over this issue. It was an interesting issue to discuss. Let us know if you have any input.

You might also like:

If you are named as an identity theft conspirator, you might owe $20,000 in legal fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19481

10 risks of being a notary public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19459

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March 9, 2019

Why You Shouldn’t Use an Online Notary

Here we cover six important reasons for NOT using an online notary public.

We’re living in an era driven by technological advancements. Today, people are willing to use YouTube as a babysitter and tablets as their kids’ companions. Be it engaging games, interactive tools for education or workflow productivity, technology always lends a helping hand but this gives rise to a few questions: Does technology really help us? Does technology need to disrupt everything? How deep into our personal affairs should we let technology creep?

Here we cover six important reasons for NOT using an online notary public:

Far Less Secure than In-Person
Lack of personal appearance defeats the purpose of notarization. Period. How can a notary properly identify someone in the world of AI when they appear on a computer screen? Audio/Video can be made from anywhere through any means. As I write this article, I did a simple Google search for “video overlay app” and about 152 Million results popped up with detailed instructions.

Huge Potential for Fraud
Here’s the dirty secret that online notaries don’t want you to know. Online notary companies require you to upload a copy of your documents so that they can place their seal on them, you then download your “notarized” documents and print them out. But guess what? A copy of your most important legal documents are now somewhere on the online notary’s datacenter just waiting for a hacker to harvest them. And we all hear the same news story almost weekly, “XYC Company has had their data breached and millions of users data was compromised.” What if you were named the beneficiary in your late relatives estate documents that were notarized by an online notary, but all of a sudden, someone else shows up in court with a copy of those same documents but with their name on them as the beneficiary?!?!

Huge Potential for Identity Theft
Internet security is another big one. If you don’t have huge secure data servers processing the data you’re uploading to the online notary, your personal information (ie. your ID credentials and documents) are being thrown out onto the World Wide Web without recourse. Once that data is internet bound, there is no coming back from a potential cyber attack.

It Costs More
In the State of California, notaries may charge a fee of $15 per signature notarized. Online notaries charge almost twice that at $25 per signature notarized. If you have multiple documents with multiple signers, you’re going to spend a whole lot more with an online notary than with a local notary whom you actually get to meet in person and shake hands with. “Shop Local” also applies to notaries.

You Might Need a Do-Over
The receiving party may not accept an out of state notary seal. A little known fact is that it’s up to the receiving party to decide if they will accept the notarization or not. Online notaries only exist in VA, TX and NV at the moment and the receiving party doesn’t have to accept an out of state seal, particularly if the receiving party is a state government agency. You’ll then need to spend more money getting your document re-notarized by a local notary in your home state.

Unemployment
How are local notaries supposed to make a living? Currently there are approximately 164,000 notaries in California. Now, we have a huge corporate company coming into CA (with the infrastructure already in place) and swallowing up notary jobs leaving thousands out of work. Imagine how hard it will be to find a notary if notaries have been replaced by an app but you can’t get an internet connection!

Conclusion
Technology has brought radical changes to our lives. But, we will end up having more disadvantages than advantages if our society overuses technology. What’s your take on this? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

Author: Matt G Miller
Contributing Writer: Kyle Eisenberg
I was given permission to publish this article by Matt Miller although it looks like it had already been published on his personal blog.

You might also like:

How Notary work is similar to online dating
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15763

eNotary – electronic notarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21344

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December 19, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — Additional Reading List

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 12:52 pm

Beginner Notaries 103: Additional Reading List
Return to Table of Contents – Beginner Notaries 103

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Are you starting out as a mobile notary and don’t know which direction to turn? We know where you should turn and what you should read. So, indulge yourself in this reading list.

How to write a great notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

Notary information for beginners — best posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10472

Why you should consider getting 123notary Elite Certified
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20094

Real Life Notary Scenarios
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19681

The 123notary 30 point course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

Signing Companies that hire new Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7059

How to become a successful mobile notary from scratch
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13340

Is having an NNA background check necessary for work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10385

How to write a notes section if you have no experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4173

5 or 6 reviews doubles your business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8484

A comprehensive guide to Notary pricing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16504

10 ways female notaries can protect themselves
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19196

Signing Agent Best Practices
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

Basic technical information for new Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10472

Cattle Call Notary Offers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9841

$30 loan signings — is it worth it?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10456

2014 excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

Wannabe #1 on 123notary? Consider this first
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9332

What’s your monthly marketing plan?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9683

Names for Notary businesses with commentary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20765

Tips for avoiding liability with the elderly
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20040

How much E&O do I need?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20183

Who is the authority at a signing?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20175

What’s your sign? A guide to spotting fake ID
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19638

Winging it as a Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19644

If you are named as an identity theft conspirator, you could pay $20,000 in legal fees
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19481

13 ways to get sued as a Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

10 risks of being a mobile notary public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19459

Airplane meals vs. Oaths and Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

Ken’s list of things Notaries might goof on
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19427

Most of what Jeremy and Carmen at 123notary offer all day is free!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19359

When to refuse a notarization – a comprehensive guide
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18974

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