Anyone that owns a home is at risk for title fraud. Title fraud is when the title of a property is altered to benefit someone other than the rightful owner. For example, a scammer can fraudulently change the name on the property title to their own, allowing them to take out home equity loans or even sell the property to make a quick profit. Fortunately, the proper title fraud prevention plan can help keep your title, home, and wallet safe. Consider these four tactics to keep your title as safe as possible.
Check Your Title
Make it a habit to check on the title of your property. Whether it’s every six months or annually, it’s important to check for any wrong changes to the document. You can stop at the county assessor’s office to check on your title at any time. There are also free services available in some states that allow you to view your title online for free. This is a great first step in preventing title fraud.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit Score
Your credit score can be a great indicator of someone using your identity or property fraudulently. You may want to consider enrolling in a credit monitoring service or signing up for a credit card that includes credit monitoring. This way, you can check day to day or monthly to make sure your credit score accurately reflects your actions. If someone takes fraudulent actions using your name or social security number, it will eventually reflect in your credit score.
Listen for Scams
Pay attention to the news and keep an ear out specifically for title fraud and real estate crimes. Nowadays, breaches and hacks are all exposed in the mainstream media. Listen for spikes in fraudulent activities to make sure it doesn’t include your title. While some scams are nationwide, others can be isolated to cities, towns, and neighborhoods.
Have a Protection Plan
Take advantage of a prevention plan, offered by an experienced vendor. These plans keep an eye out for fraud and notify you as soon as something negative happens. These plans can include both monitoring and protection against title fraud and can be customized to fit any individual’s needs.
Each day there is a new scam, hack or data breach. It’s more important now than ever to protect yourself and your property. Proper title fraud prevention can ensure your title isn’t altered without your knowledge. This protects you against your property being sold without your consent or used to gain a home equity loan in your name without your permission.