A notary is a public official, typically licensed by secretaries of state, who certify documents, such as wills, affidavits, divorce papers and other legal documents. If a notary public misrepresents facts deliberately -- for example, by stating that someone signed a document in person when they were not actually present -- this may constitute fraud.
Reporting Notary Fraud
The exact process for reporting notary fraud will vary based on the state where the incident took place. Generally, however, you may be able to report these instances of fraud by working with both your local police and the secretary of state. To file a police report alleging fraud, you may be asked to appear in person and talk to a police officer about the details of the notary's actions. The police may ask you to provide evidence supporting your claims, such as the erroneous notarized document in question. The secretary of state or other board that governs notaries in your state may also have an official complaint process. To verify whether your state has an official process regarding notary complaints, contact the governing board by phone or visit their website. If your state does not have a formal complaint process, the state may ask you to write a formal letter, similar to a police statement, outlining the circumstances of the notary’s fraudulent activity.
- North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State: The North Carolina Notary Public and You
- North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State: Tip and Complaint Forms
- San Jose Police Department: Reporting Forgery, Fraud & Identity Theft
- City of Minneapolis: 4-600 Specific Report Policies and Procedures
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