Washington County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Hesemean recently announced that residents can take advantage of a few service designed to prevent property fraud.
To prevent scammers from illegally using their property for financial gain, county residents can subscribe to Property Fraud Alert free of charge, according the Heseman.
According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest-growing white collar crime. Scammers can record fraudulent documents in the recorder’s office to make it appear that they own someone else’s property.
Heseman says she has never seen any cases of fraud in Washington County, but she wants residents to know that the service is available.
“I’ve heard about it happening in some of more populous areas, but you just can’t be too careful,” said Heseman. “I’ve heard things about people spending the winter in Florida and when they come home, someone has a fake deed to their house and is living there.”
That type of nightmare scenario would require action in the courts to remedy. “It’s horrible when people have to go through that with their own homes,” said Heseman.
Residents can sign up for a free notification alert service to fight fraudsters at www.propertyfraudalert.com or by calling the Property Fraud Alert Hotline at (800) 728-3858.
For more details on the program, contact Heseman’s office at 327-4800 ext. 300.