Title Theft is on the RISE What is it, how do you protect yourself and wire fraud
Title Fraud, Wire Fraud, Home theft, It's all happening and you could be next.Learn what it is, how to protect yourself, and how to get help if it's happened to you.
- WHAT IS TITLE FRAUD
- HOW DOES IT HAPPEN
- WHO ARE TYPICAL VICTIMS?
- HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?
- RED FLAGS
- WHAT ELSE? WIRE FRAUD!
- WAYS TO SAFEGUARD
- SLOW DOWN
WHAT IS TITLE FRAUD
HOW DOES IT HAPPENWhat typically happens in title fraud? So what we're seeing recently of late, this new trending kind of occurrence is it'll be either vacant land or a nonowner occupied, maybe vacant property house. And it's owned free and clear and you have a buyer. who wants to come in and close very quickly. So you can close quickly because there are really no hurdles. There's no mortgage payoff to order. There are no other things that can take time. So they come in with an all-cash buyer and it closes quickly. It's the one that I heard of recently. There was a fake ID involved. So they're saying that they're the owner of the record, right? They can, everybody can see it's public record who owns this property. So they have a fake ID saying I'm the seller of this property and I want to sell it. That is so scary. Yep. So scary. So it happens to, it can happen to the best of us, right? The big targets are paid-off vacant land or vacant property.
WHO ARE TYPICAL VICTIMS?Correct. Vacant homes. Yeah, and is it typically older people I would gather? People who don't really take care of their property or could be letting maintenance. Yeah, or out-of-state owners that's another thing that would Alert you to the fact that something is going on if you're there and you're seeing activity or maybe seeing a buyer come by If you're in another state and you're not paying attention these things can happen. Yeah, so that's a good way to keep in touch with your neighbors say hey, can you do me a favor and keep an eye out? For my property, if people start trampling around or trying to move in because we have incidents of that happening as well so I guess a couple other things what else could you do to protect yourself from that or be aware of that?
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?
RED FLAGSAnd I would say too, that's another reason to always make sure that you're working with a title company in any real estate transaction. So title companies are well versed in all of these schemes and scams that fraudsters come up with. So we're on the lookout for any potential red flags. And we work with notaries who are well-qualified as well and are checking these IDs. There are a lot of ways that we can further probe into buyers and sellers, identities, and things if there is something that feels not right. So always work with a title company and make sure that you're getting title insurance on any real estate transaction. And if you do have a seller who's trying to convince you not to use title insurance, there are a couple reasons why. That might be a red flag for you. Yep. And just be very careful if you're going to do that, or you can require that title insurance is offered. Is there anything else we have to talk about?
WHAT ELSE? WIRE FRAUD!In the fraud vein, while we're talking about fraud, we could talk about wire fraud. There are so many different scams that are out there. It's crazy. Talk to me about wire fraud. I know that we talk about it all the time. Every time I do a transaction, I have to sign. Three or four different disclosures talking about wire fraud. What is that? So wire fraud is when we send out our wire instructions fraudsters will amend the numbers the account number the routing number to reflect Their own bank account or somebody else's bank account and then your money doesn't go to the title company It goes to some other country usually is not very easily traceable And most of the time you don't get it back. And from what I remember, this is the district attorney that was mentioning it. It goes to a straw account, which is somebody, let's say in Indiana, who is saying, Hey, I'll give you 500 if you let me use your account number. So they're involved, but they're not really involved. And then the minute the money drops into their account, it disappears and goes to Africa or India or wherever. And it's gone forever. Gone. Yeah. And there's not much you can do about it. And no kind of insurance protects you against that as a consumer. There is not. No. So we're not talking about tens of thousands. We're talking about sometimes hundreds of thousands. Yeah in this area Yeah, it could be that initial deposit when you first get into a contract Usually it's 3% of the purchase price or it could be what we call funds to close That's the remainder of your down payment, and in this area that is usually hundreds of thousands If not in the millions crazy, yeah, and it just and it does happen here.
WAYS TO SAFEGUARDWays that you can protect yourself are just being aware of the email address that it's coming from, who it's coming from, verifying with the title company, usually, that's by phone, and don't use the phone number that's in the email. Ask your real estate agent, and ask your lender for the phone number of the title company.
SLOW DOWNSlow down. I think that's a big one too. A lot of times, especially in our area, everybody is in a hurry. Everything needs to be done like 20 minutes ago. So just slow down, especially when it comes to your money and large amounts of money. Look at the email. If something doesn't seem quite right or something feels funny, definitely explore that. Ask your real estate agent, and ask the title company to make sure everything is being done. Correct. Thank you, Suzanne. It's always great to have you here. And I appreciate the time we took today to help educate some people. Me too. This is great. Thank you. All right. I'm Vito Scarnecchia with Abitano and this is. Suzanne Borg with Cornerstone Title. We'll see you out there.
0:30 WHAT IS TITLE FRAUD
0:41 HOW DOES IT HAPPEN
2:28 WHO ARE TYPICAL VICTIMS?
2:53 HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?
3:50 RED FLAGS
5:39 WHAT ELSE? WIRE FRAUD!
7:17 WAYS TO SAFEGUARD
9:06 SLOW DOWN
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