Letter: Protect Your Home With Free Property Fraud Alerts

Most of us know to check our credit report for signs of fraudulent activity, but when was the last time you checked the deed to your home?

Your home is one of your largest and most valuable financial investments, making it a big target for scammers. My office’s free Property Fraud Alert program helps you protect your property by notifying you of potential fraud, and providing you with valuable time to stop scammers looking to cash-in on your investment.

After the housing crisis in 2010, we witnessed the creation and rapid rise of a new, sophisticated crime: the filing of fraudulent deeds and mortgages.

Although a lesser-known scam, property and mortgage fraud is now one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States, and South Florida is no exception.

Palm Beach County’s large number of winter homes and investment properties makes our community a prime target for scammers. Unsuspecting homeowners can face foreclosure, or worse, discover their property has been sold without their knowledge or consent.

My office has partnered with a private firm to create a free notification system that alerts residents anytime a document such as a deed or mortgage is recorded in their name. This free service makes it much more difficult for scammers to go undetected.

Just like signing up for credit card alerts or identity theft protection, our free program gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your property is being monitored for signs of fraud.

The registration process is quick and easy and can be completed online from any electronic device, including a smartphone or tablet. I urge everyone who owns real estate in Palm Beach County to take advantage of this free service by registering today at www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/property-fraud-alert.

Preventing fraud requires us all to be diligent. Our Property Fraud Alert program is just one of the many ways my office is working to serve you every day.

Sharon R. Bock, Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller