Did you know the Dare County Register of Deeds provides a free 24/7 system that alerts Dare County property owners if someone attempts to illegally acquire their property?
By signing up for this free fraud detection system, you’ll receive an alert via email when a document is recorded within the Register of Deeds office that matches the name(s) you registered.
What are property and mortgage fraud?
Property fraud occurs when someone illegally acquires or transfers ownership of a property that is not rightfully theirs—typically for financial gain and with malicious intent. Once a fraudster selects a property, they commit identity fraud by creating fake IDs, Social Security cards and other counterfeit documents before forging signatures to unlawfully transfer ownership of the property.
Once the legal property owner’s name has been removed from the deed, perpetrators are able to sell the property to unsuspecting buyers or take out a home equity line of credit in order to turn a quick profit. They may also use a stolen identity to illegally obtain a mortgage for a property in order to secure a larger or more favorable loan than they would be granted using their own identity.
What types of properties are at risk?
Any property can be at risk for property or mortgage fraud; however, perpetrators tend to target vacant/unoccupied homes and investment properties/properties with absentee owners so they can operate without detection, as well as properties with no mortgage or a large amount of equity, which offer a more significant financial payoff.
To register for this free service and protect yourself from becoming a victim of property or mortgage fraud, visit https://www.darenc.gov/departments/register-of-deeds/fraud-detection