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Stolen Notary IDs, Seals Used In Fraud Schemes

NNA 2007 Notary of the Year Joan Sampson and Ed Newsom, a long-time Notary and owner of a UPS store in Calabasas, California, both know what it’s like to have their Notary identities co-opted by scammers trying to commit fraud.

And they are not alone. A Glendale, California, man recently pleaded guilty to bilking $5 million from lenders using bogus documents that bore “forged and fraudulent signatures of Notaries,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

In another case, a San Diego, California, man will be spending the next 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing the identities of several Notaries to forge hundreds of documents in a massive foreclosure scam.

Scammers aren’t just stealing the identities of Notaries. A recent FBI report noted that fraud perpetrators continue to “have a high level of access” to Notary seals and other tools and resources.

While there is little Notaries can do to keep scammers from forging their seals and signatures, both Sampson and Newsom said they used their journal records to prove they did not notarize the fraudulent documents. As a result, both avoided liability claims against them.


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Melissa Garcia

21 Sep 2016

I lost my commission card/letter of appointment. How can I get those back? Thank you.

National Notary Association

21 Sep 2016

Hello Melissa. If you obtained your commission through the NNA, please call our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 for assistance. If not, please contact your state Notary regulating agency as soon as possible to notify them and ask how to obtain a replacement.

Linda Iniguez

24 Oct 2016

My Notary brief case with all my supplies including my seal. Was stolen from our truck I did make a police report sent a coy to secretary of stare by certified Mail, and haven't heard what should my next step be?

National Notary Association

25 Oct 2016

Hello Linda. To help us answer your question can you tell us what state you are commissioned in, please?

Kayla Moseley

06 Dec 2017

My notary bag and supplies are missing. I believe it was stolen from my apartment. I filed a police report. What do I do next?

National Notary Association

07 Dec 2017

Hi Kayla, we're sorry to hear about your situation. To help us answer your question can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Patricia Bell

27 Jan 2019

How long do you keep your notary records journal? If the notary journal is lost or shredded and a notarized signature is in question in a court case, what happens?

National Notary Association

28 Jan 2019

Hi Patricia. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

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