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  • Writer's pictureBrian Klein

Your Guide to Avoiding Online Notarization Scams


Man in a black hooded sweatshirt working on a laptop computer.

In today's digital age, convenience often comes hand in hand with the risk of fraud, especially when it comes to online transactions and services. With the increasing popularity of online notarization (also known as RON), it's crucial to be aware of potential scams that can compromise your sensitive information.


Experts emphasize the importance of taking steps to ensure the legitimacy of your notarization sessions. At Blue Ink Notary in Reading, Pennsylvania, I prioritize your safety and security. In this guide, we'll walk through some steps to avoid online notarization scams and ensure a smooth and secure notary experience.


Understanding Online Notarization

Before diving into the tips for avoiding scams, let's briefly review what online notarization entails. Online notarization, also known as remote or virtual notarization, allows individuals to have their documents notarized via a secured platform using the internet, without physically meeting the notary in person. This process typically involves video conferencing and electronic signatures, offering convenience and accessibility, especially for those unable to visit a notary's office in person.


Common Online Notarization Scams

Scammers target online notarization services due to the sensitive nature of the documents usually involved. Here are some common scams to watch out for:


  • Fake Notary Websites: Scammers create websites that mimic legitimate notary services. They may offer enticing deals or claim to be affiliated with reputable organizations to lure unsuspecting individuals. Example: A website with a similar name to Blue Ink Notary's but with slight variations, such as "BlueInkNotaryServices.com" instead of the authentic "BlueInkNotaryPA.com."

  • Phishing Emails and Calls: Scammers send emails or make phone calls pretending to be notaries or representatives of notary services. They may ask for personal information or payment details under false pretenses. Example: An email claiming to offer discounted online notarization services with a link that leads to a fake website designed to steal your information.

  • Unsolicited Notarization Requests: Be cautious of unsolicited requests for notarization services, especially if they come from unfamiliar sources or offer unusually low prices. Example: Receiving a message on social media from a stranger offering notarization services at a fraction of the typical cost.


Tips to Avoid Online Notarization Scams

Now that you're familiar with potential scams, here are some actionable tips to protect yourself:


  • Verify Notary Credentials: Check your state’s notary database to confirm the notary’s commission and authorization to perform online notarizations. Each state has specific regulations regarding who is authorized. Go HERE to search the database for approved Pennsylvania online notaries. Your can also check the notary's listing on a reputable site like the National Notary Association, American Society of Notaries or your state's notary association.


Here is a screen shot of my listing from the Pennsylvania Secretary of State site:


Screenshot of Brian Klein's listing as an approved online notary from the Pennsylvania Secretary of State website.

  • Double-Check Website URLs: When visiting a notary's website, ensure that the URL matches the official website of the notary service you intend to use. Look for secure connections (https://) and avoid sites with suspicious domain names.


  • Read Reviews and Testimonials: Check online reviews and testimonials from other clients to gauge the reputation and reliability of the notary service. A lack of reviews or negative feedback can be red flags. You can review Blue Ink Notary's reviews on Google here.

  • Ask Questions: Don't hesitate to ask the notary service questions about their processes, security measures, and fees. Legitimate services will be transparent and willing to provide information.

  • Avoid Unsolicited Offers: Be wary of unsolicited emails, calls, or messages offering notarization services. Legitimate notaries typically do not reach out to individuals randomly.

  • Robust Identity Verification: Be prepared to answer knowledge-based questions, show government-issued ID, or undergo bio-metric verification. Some states, like Pennsylvania, may also allow identification through a credible witness.

  • Secure Payment Methods: Use secure payment methods, such as credit cards or trusted payment gateways, when paying for online notarization services. Avoid sharing sensitive financial information over unsecured channels.

  • Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts and proceed with caution. It's better to err on the side of caution than to fall victim to a scam.

At Blue Ink Notary, we prioritize transparency, security, and professionalism in every notarization service we offer. We adhere to strict standards to ensure your documents are handled with care and confidentiality.


Remember, staying vigilant and informed is key to safeguarding your transactions and personal information in our digital age. Don't let scammers jeopardize your peace of mind. Choose Blue Ink Notary for reliable, secure, and hassle-free notarization services in Berks County and beyond.

Stay safe, stay secure, and let Blue Ink Notary be your trusted partner for all of your notarial needs!



 

Blue Ink Notary, based in Greater Reading and serving Berks County as well as Lancaster, Montgomery, Chester, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Lebanon counties, has been helping numerous Pennsylvania residents and businesses get their documents notarized since 2019. I am generally available Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm but am also available for emergency early morning, evening & weekend appointments to help you with your documents, so contact me any time with questions. 


To discuss your notary needs:

📲 Call or text 484-509-1405 

🖥️ Visit online at blueinknotarypa.com and message us in our chat box in the lower right corner of your screen or visit the Contact Us page.

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