Property fraud is the act of selling, renting or mortgaging your home without your consent. Disconcerting, isn’t it? Not only that, it’s totally possible and easier than you might image.
According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest-growing white-collar crime in the United States. Also known as home title fraud or deed fraud, this type of crime is as easy as filing a fake deed in your county recorder’s office.
Every county encourages you to be vigilant when it comes to your home. According to the Orange County, FL website, this is the reason fraudulent documents get recorded: “The Comptroller must record all documents that meet the requirements outlined in the Florida Statutes. If a document is properly executed and presented with payment, it is the responsibility of the Comptroller’s office to record the document.”
How Scammers Record a Fake Deed
But, how, you might ask yourself, do scammers record a fake deed? It’s as simple as forging your signature. Yes, that’s all they need. Property deeds are readily available online as public records. After they identify the property they want to go after, the only thing they have to do is to steal your identity, notarize the fake deed and record it in your local county clerk office.
Once the deed is filed, most county recorders offices automatically assume that the property owner is informed. The catch is that there are not many consistent system for actually informing the owner of the property. But don’t run off to complain to your county clerk just yet, with over 50 million documents recorded every year in the USA and separate systems in each county, examining the veracity of each individual deed is almost impossible.
The consequences can be catastrophic. It can cost you thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees to prove the fraud, a hit on your home equity and, possibly, even your home.
How to Protect Yourself from Property Fraud
Thankfully, there is something you can do to protect yourself from property fraud. At Fraudshine State LLC, we can monitor your home’s deed records. You will receive an alert if there’s any activity on your home’s deed. You will also receive a monthly update just to ensure your peace of mind.
Don’t expose yourself to home title fraud, protect yourself today with our monthly monitoring system.