COVID19 Brings New Wave of Cybercrime

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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.


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How Title Fraud Works

Thieves simply change ownership of your home from YOU to THEM. Then they TAKE OUT LOANS on your home and just disappear - leaving YOU with the payments and a mountain of legal bills.

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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 on-line threats both foreign and domestic.

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Today's System Isn't Protecting You From Title Theft

"People think there's somebody that's checking your signature. Nobody is checking any of these things. Nobody is looking out for you but you."

— Matthew Cox (Convicted Home title Thief)
  • County clerk won’t call you if someone changes title on your home
  • Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover home title theft
  • Credit card or traditional identity protection doesn’t cover home title theft
Protect Yourself today, with Home Title Lock.
  • 24/7 monitoring of your Title
  • Instant alerts if we detect tampering with your title or mortgage
  • Up to $1,000,000* in legal fees and expert fees on your behalf

How Easily Title Fraud Occurs

EVERYTHING is stored online in the cloud - including your home's title information

1

Domestic and international thieves scour online records for homes with equity. It could be the home you live in, your vacation home, a home of an elderly relative, or rental property you own.

2

Once they change your home's ownership from YOU to THEM, they re-file the Quitclaim Deed for your home with the proper authorities so it appears your home has been legally sold.

3

They take out personal loans through banks and online lenders using all your home's equity. You likely won't know you're a victim until you start receiving late payments or foreclosure notices.

Click to see if your home's title has been compromised.
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Title Fraud is NOT COVERED by



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Legal Trust


Homeowners Insurance


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