Yes, you, too, can start your very own notary association. How? By coming up with a name that includes “association” in it and having a designer create a website and logo that look official. You don’t even have to tell anyone who you are: You can get an unpublished phone number, hide your domain name registration through a proxy and get a “suite” at your local UPS mail center. (That certainly inspires trust, doesn’t it?) p>

Next, send out thousands of spam emails saying youre a notary association and wait for unsuspecting notaries to bite. Seriously, we’re not recommending this—just showing how easy it is to create an “association” and take advantage of notaries who are already struggling with the current downturn in business.

We see this scam every week with brand new directories claiming they have thousands of visitors a day and guaranteeing business, and now we’re seeing new “associations,” too. Please, do your research before you whip out your credit card! Do a search for a variety of terms a potential customer might use: find a notary, notary signing agent, etc., to see where those websites place in search results. If they’re not on page one or two, forget it. Unless you have unlimited funds and don’t care about return on investment, save your money for established directories and associations—there are plenty of good ones!—and join the new ones only if they truly offer something extra or they’re free. Visit our Notary Directories page for more info on Associations.

Other things you may want to know: How old is the domain name and who bought it. You can visit GoGetDomainName.com, select “WHOIS” in the footer at the bottom and enter the domain name. This may give you a person’s name you can research with a Google search as well as some idea of the age of the site. Of course, it’s possible the site had a different name originally and is older than the domain name, but still this bit of info is better than nothing. If the site is fairly new, say only a few months old, any claims of 100,000 unique visitors a month is highly unlikely! If they’re not being honest about traffic, what else might be questionable?

If there’s an “About Us” page on the website, see what information is available there. On the “Contact Us” page, is there a phone number you can call or is there just an email address or worse, a blind email form? If it looks like the owner is hiding, I’d think twice about signing up.

You can email us if you prefer and we’ll check the site for you. If it looks promising, we’re happy to add it to our directories and associations pages as another beneficial resource.

You can find Notary Associations on our Notary Directories page and refer to them every time you receive another email solicitation.