Property and mortgage fraud have been on the rise in recent years, posing a significant threat to both homeowners and buyers. Fraudsters are using highly sophisticated means to deceive people and steal their property or money, making it absolutely imperative for you to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself. One of the best ways to do that is to set up fraud alerts.
A fraud alert is a notification that you receive when someone tries to open a new account or access your existing accounts. It alerts you to any suspicious activity and can help you prevent fraud before it happens. For property and mortgage fraud, a fraud alert will notify you of any fraudulent activity related to your property or mortgage, including attempts to transfer the ownership of your property or apply for a mortgage using your name and information.
To protect yourself from property and mortgage fraud, it’s important to set up fraud alerts with your local county clerk of court. Below are both the St. Johns and Duval County Clerk of Court websites. Both offer fraud alert programs that allow you to receive notifications when activity occurs on your property or mortgage.
St. Johns County: https://stjohnsclerk.com/recording-activity/
Duval County: https://www.propertyfraudalert.com/FLDuval
What else can you do to protect yourself from fraud?
- Be vigilant about protecting your personal information.
- Shred documents with your personal information on them. Make a shredder your best friend and shred all your personal information. If you don’t own a shredder find a shredding event near you that will shred for free. UPS Store offers shredding as well for a small fee.
- Never share personal information with anyone you don’t trust, and always keep your sensitive information secure.
- Be careful about what you share on social media, as fraudsters can use information you post online to impersonate you and access your accounts.
- Regularly check your credit reports and bank statements for any suspicious activity. If you notice any unauthorized transactions or activity, report it to your bank and credit reporting agencies immediately.
Property and mortgage fraud are serious threats that can have devastating consequences. Setting up fraud alerts with your local county clerk of court is an effective way to protect yourself from fraudulent activity. In addition to fraud alerts, it’s essential to be vigilant about protecting your personal information and regularly checking your credit reports and bank statements. By taking these steps, you can help prevent property and mortgage fraud and keep your home and finances secure.