The COVID-19 pandemic created
unprecedented access for cybercriminals
to prey upon Americans who
are shopping, working and doing
virtually everything online – from
home. Even real estate transactions are being handled more online.
According to cybercrime experts, we are all at greater risk of identity theft. But, common identity thefts (credit, ATM cards, and driver’s license misuse) are nothing compared to losing your home.
The crime is Home Title Fraud. Cyber-criminals, foreign and domestic target our homes. Why? Because they stand to gain tens, even hundreds of thousands by taking over the title to your home. But it doesn’t just stop there. Cyber-criminals can literally have you evicted from your home. That’s why the FBI warns homeowners that Title Fraud is one of America's fastest growing white-collar crimes.
With the continued pandemic of COVID-19, many county recording offices are temporarily closed or short staffed. This means documents are piling up and most likely will be rushed through the recording and filing process. This could make it even easier for these criminals to pass off forged documents. During a real estate deal, if a deed can not be recorded at the close
of a transaction there would be a time-gap in the public record that
scammers can exploit to resell that same house. Expect a huge spike in deed fraud and title theft in 2020 and even into 2021.
HERE'S HOW HOME TITLE FRAUD HAPPENS:
- Step 1. All home titles are now kept online, and thieves know it.
Everything they need to take over legal ownership of your home, rental
property or vacation home is easily found on the Internet.
Step 2. They forge your signature on a legal home transfer deed, place a fake notary seal on it, and refile your home's title claiming to be the new owner. No government entity is required to verify the legitimacy of your home's transfer. It's now theirs'.
Step 3. Thieves can now take out loans from multiple lenders using your home's equity. They split with the cash and stick you with the payments. In other cases thieves may claim ownership and force authorities to evict you from your home.
WARNING! You will spend tens of thousands of dollars in court trying to regain ownership of your home. NOTE:
Title Fraud is NOT covered by your homeowner's insurance, bank or
common identity theft programs.
See if your home's title has been compromised.
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Thirty years ago we started creating the largest database of property records in the United States. Today, that database has 6.1 billion property records. We protect your property value and ownership from online threats both foreign and domestic.