New Scam: Tough to protect yourself from homeowner fraud
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Thread: New Scam: Tough to protect yourself from homeowner fraud

  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    New Scam: Tough to protect yourself from homeowner fraud

    So, why does this concern us? Well, given the amount of information out there and the view that many people believe they have nothing worth stealing -- how about your house? The story, which I watched this morning, was a bit of a wake-up call in the way that house titles are done and made me realize how easy this could be done thanks to info that can be obtained online. In the story they showed a man who lost his house and didn't even know it. He had to fight in court (paying legal fees totalling at that point $2k) to get back his legal claim already on the property.

    What was further interesting is why they do this. It isn't the house itself but rather getting a mortgage on the house and taking the money and running. In this case, the thief went for a $110,000 mortgage (about half of what the house is worth) and easily approved without much checking. If the thief had gotten away with it, guess who gets footed with the mortgage?? (and no, it's not the bank.) Thankfully, this bank manager was somewhat savvy and called the police in. A sting later and they had their crook. Meanwhile, poor Joe Homeowner is in courts getting back his house title and good name.

    You might want to check how your local authorities do sale checks. In Alberta all that is needed is documents supplied by the buyer (in the examples, these were forged). It's rather surprising that they don't have some mechanism that requires the seller (I guess it's to make the deals able to pass faster by not having both parties present).

    Source: CFCN-CTV News

    Many people put a lot of time and energy securing their home and property from thieves.

    But security systems and a dog can't protect you from a thief stealing the home itself.

    At least two Calgary families have had their property snatched out from under them by crooks using the province's Land Titles Office.

    All a thief needs is your street address and some fake ID.

    Then that person can go to a provincial registry office and get a copy of their victim's title report.

    With that document, it is relatively simple for someone to forge documents to transfer the land and related affidavits.

    Once the title is in the hands of a criminal, they can apply for a loan and make off with the cash before anyone finds out about it.

    The ease with which the fraud can be done makes many homeowners angry more isn't done to protect them.

    There isn't much people can do to protect themselves.

    Running a title search on your property can confirm that you are still the registered owner but the scam can be completed in less than one month.

    Under Alberta law, the Land Titles Office is responsible for any loss homeowners suffer due to mistakes it makes on their titles, even those resulting from fraud.

    Ten per cent of land title fees are also put into a compensation fund used to pay victims.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  2. #2
    T̙͓̞̣̯ͦͭͅͅȂͧͭͧ̏̈͏̖̖Z̿ ͆̎̄
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    Hi MsMittens,

    What always amazes me about these scams is how ignorant the media is in reporting them...they almost always ( as in this case ) tell you how to do it...even after 9/11 you had these reporters listing other possible ways a terrorist could attack the U.S. as if they were giving advice.

    Anybody who wants to find out how to do something they shouldn't and get advice as to how to do it...the media is a great resource pool of knowledge.

    It's like..." Today on CPN your news source for the 21st century, the National Bank of Salsbury was successfully robbed and the perpetrators got away with $40,000 in cash, the police have no leads on suspects...now...let me tell you how they did it..."...duh !

    Eg

  3. #3
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    What always amazes me about these scams is how ignorant the media is in reporting them...they almost always ( as in this case ) tell you how to do it...even after 9/11 you had these reporters listing other possible ways a terrorist could attack the U.S. as if they were giving advice.
    It's called "Full Disclosure" and I actually think that's a good idea. If people are aware of how it happens, perhaps they can watch for warning signs. I'm sorry but in this one, I wasn't even aware that someone could have gotten away with this and found it helpful to know about it. There should be checks and balances to ensure -- particularly when it comes to property like this -- as to who is truly selling and who is buying. I mean, if you wanted to it could be a two-man scam: one pretends to be the seller and one the buyer. To ensure protection against this, keeping a photo of the original buyer on site or in a secure database might be a method of prevention. But then again, good makeup artist might be able to fool that one.

    Education is by far the best protection against this kind of social engineering and keeping people aware is helpful.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  4. #4
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    Hi MsMittens,

    You know as well as I do...whether it's computer security, home security, or even personal security...for most people it's in one ear and out the other...as a Charity Co-ordinator, who is used to people telling me how they got scammed the last time by some outfit, I hear about people getting scammed all the time and it doesn't matter how many times you explain how you can protect yourself...most people don't...
    the ones that benefit the most from this kind of information are the criminals looking for new ways to rip you off and get away with it.
    I'm sure there are some people who would put this information to use to protect themselves...but detailed information is more than likely going to attrack the attention of the criminal element more than the average person who is not security conscious.

    Eg

  5. #5
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    You know as well as I do...whether it's computer security, home security, or even personal security...for most people it's in one ear and out the other...as a Charity Co-ordinator, who is used to people telling me how they got scammed the last time by some outfit, I hear about people getting scammed all the time and it doesn't matter how many times you explain how you can protect yourself...most people don't...
    And you're identifying what I would classify as very general people. Certainly they may not pay attention but perhaps those that should be pay attention will. Like those in banking (Privacy Officers) and legislators (Those making the laws). Maybe even police forces. Hiding it, IMO, will make it easier for someone to rip it off than if people are somewhat aware. Not everyone let's it "go in one and out the other". There are those that do pay attention.

    You may not agree with FD but I do, mainly because if I'm aware, even in the slightest, that one thing that might trigger something may make me be more cautious in dealings.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
    Extra! Extra! Get your FREE copy of Insight Newsletter||MsMittens' HomePage

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