Cybercrime has soared during the pandemic, with hacks, breaches and scams hitting unprecedented highs. You know hackers are waiting to pounce while you’re working, shopping and spending time online.
What you don’t know is that you’re open to a type of theft you’ve probably never heard of: home title fraud. Victims of this devastating crime have their homes stolen before they even know what happened.
Simply put, thieves change the ownership of your home from you to them, take out loans and disappear. You’re left with the legal bills and your hard-earned equity is gone.
How cybercriminals steal your home
Just think about all the years you and your family have been working to make mortgage payments. You pay taxes on your home, insurance and even homeowners association dues.
If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve spent a lifetime going to work, paying your bills and saving money. Finally, when your home is paid off, you can rest easy. But that’s when the unthinkable happens.
Here’s how: Your home’s title and mortgage information are stored and readily available online for those who knew where to look. Criminals use this info, and details about you leaked in data breaches, to transfer you off your title.
They forge the paperwork, and either take a trip to the country recorder’s office or simply click “send” to make it official. The majority of recorder’s offices assume the paperwork is genuine, and just like that, your home is no longer yours.
Once they’ve got the title to your home, they can legally kick you out it or use its equity to take out money and live a lavish lifestyle.
What is equity theft?
How much is your home worth? Have you recently checked? Tap or click here for a few free resources you can use to see your home’s value.
Is your home’s value your retirement plan? You’ve heard that people get rich off their homes. If you’ve owned it long enough and live in a hot real estate market, you could retire on that alone.
You can sell your house and use the equity you’ve built up to buy a smaller home and invest the rest. That dream can be shattered by home title criminals, though.
Once they legally have the title to your home, they can simply walk into a bank and use the equity that you built up to take out a loan to pay their bills. Title fraud happens far more often than you might think. Millions of homeowners are at risk right now.
Wait, aren’t I protected already?
In a word, no. Home Title Lock is the only company that provides nationwide monitoring and alerts. You may think your bank, insurance, trust or identity theft protection services can prevent home title fraud, but the truth is they can’t.
Don’t think home title insurance protects you, either. That insurance is required by lenders to endure you have a clean title. It protects you through escrow but doesn’t cover future events.
There’s more info than ever about you on the web
Every hack and breach puts more of your info online — giving cybercriminals more fuel. It’s not just your name, phone number and address, but details like your Social Security number and online financial logins, too.
And did you know your property deed, including your signature, is most likely online? All you have to do is check your county assessor’s website and type in your address.
You’ll be shocked to find all your private information about your property is right there for cybercriminals to steal.
Home Title Lock created the world’s largest property records database in the U.S. It now includes more than 6.1 billion records.
Protect yourself now
Home title fraud is a terrifying crime. Cybercriminals can easily put your home in their name then evict you from your home or steal its equity. Don’t take that risk.
This content has been reproduced from its original source.