Tips to protect yourself from real estate fraud

By FCT

We don’t often think much of giving out our basic personal information, but sometimes the simplest information can be enough for fraudsters to use. Information such as your full name, address, postal code or birthday are identifiers that if shared publicly, can be used to impersonate you.

If you’re a homeowner, you’re susceptible to a lesser known type of fraud—real estate fraud. Although real estate fraud is less common and harder to orchestrate than other types of fraud, the losses that come with it can be quite significant. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself from any potential fraudulent activity.

Research any company you are providing personal information to so you can be sure they are protecting your data

Any company that requires your personal information has a responsibility to protect the data you trust them with. Most companies will provide you with their privacy policy which outlines how your data is collected, used, and protected by the website. Be sure to read this over before you give any personal information.

Keep your information secure online

Most fraudsters can take basic information about you to commit fraud. When you’re giving your information out online, be sure that it is a trustworthy source. You’ll know the website is secure when you see “https” on the website URL.

Consider purchasing a title insurance policy

If you’re a homeowner, you are vulnerable to title fraud. Title fraud is when a fraudster steals your identity and forges documents to either re-mortgage your home and walk away with the proceeds, or to sell your home right out from under you. Learn all about title insurance and how it can protect you here.

Do you have any additional tips on how to protect yourself from fraud? Let us know in the comments below.

2 Responses to “Tips to protect yourself from real estate fraud”

  1. V.Romer says:

    On this article it seems that the responsibility to protect against real estate fraud falls squarely on the homeowner. How about the banks or lenders who fail to spot fraudulent loan applications with forged or fake supporting documentation?
    Shouldn’t they be responsible for not carefully vetting the loan applicant?
    Are there any laws out there that protect the consumer on this type of fraud?

    Also, I have contacted Title companies about this type of fraud, and I’ve been told that Title Insurance does not provide coverage for future Title fraud. Is it true?

    • FCT says:

      Hello, this article was specifically written for homeowners, but it doesn’t mean to imply that the responsibility lies solely on the owner. We have other articles written for legal professionals and lenders to help them prevent fraud as well. Each party in a real estate transaction is responsible for detecting and preventing fraud on their end, however a title insurance policy helps in certain cases. FCT’s title insurance policies do provide coverage for future title fraud. Hope this helps!

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