In recent years, we have seen an increase in the amount of cyber crime throughout the world. For example, identity theft has become so sophisticated that swindlers can deploy an ever-evolving array of techniques and tools to hijack your personal information. If successful, a fraudster can use your identifying information to open credit accounts, file a tax return or assume someone’s identity in its entirety. This has led to various identity theft protection services, such as Lifelock, Experian, McAfee, & others. In addition to identity theft, recently, more attention has been placed on home title fraud protection.
What is home title fraud protection?
First, let’s start by explaining what home title fraud is. Home title fraud is when scammers file fake deeds, making it appear as if they own homes that are not actually theirs. As a result, these criminals will then trick people into giving them money to rent or buy those homes. In addition, they may even use your home as collateral and take a loan out against your property. Needless to say, this can be quite stressful and time-consuming for homeowners.
Recently, you may have seen commercials on television or heard advertisements on the radio promoting home title fraud protection. While in theory this service sounds like it could be beneficial, it is simply a fraud monitoring service. In other words, this service only notifies you after the fraud has been committed. Furthermore, this is not title insurance. While it is helpful to be notified if/when fraud has been committed on your home title, it is important to know that these monitoring services provide no assistance. In fact, many local counties will provide property title alerts at no cost to you. For example, Palm Beach County homeowners can click here. Broward County homeowners can click here.
In closing, while home title fraud protection services may be helpful, they are likely not worth the additional expense. We recommend inquiring with your local county clerk or property appraiser to see if a free monitoring service is offered. Of course, your local real estate agent or real estate attorney may also be able to provide more information to you.
Are you thinking about buying or selling in South Florida? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, download the free Florida Home Search app for your smartphone or tablet.