Vacant land fraud has been prominent in South Florida, but we now see it in the Northwest Florida region. Popular land fraud scams include individuals trying to sell land they do not own and individuals producing fraudulent deeds. Here we gathered types of vacant land fraud, how to spot the signs, and what you can do to avoid imposters.
When someone is trying to sell a property as an imposter seller, the most common thing to see is that the tax bill is not going to the address they’re trying to sell. This discrepancy alerts your title agency to mail a letter to the seller of record and let them know there is a contract for the property. This identifies the true owners of the land so you can determine if they are the ones trying to sell the property or not.
Fraudulent deed is a much more complex version of fraud, where the scammer has given a fraudulent deed to themselves that is public record. Unfortunately, this is harder to catch, therefore, having title insurance is very important. If a buyer has already gone through the process of purchasing from a fraudulent seller, title insurance kicks in and your title agency will fight for you to get the land that is rightfully yours or reimbursement of the money you paid for the land.
Real estate fraud is rampant in Northwest Florida, which is why we need to be diligent with new listings, especially those that present red flags. To fight as much as we can against this fraud, we highly recommend title insurance so buyers are protected from potential fraud in their real estate transactions.
Want to hear more about vacant land fraud and how you can spot it? Listen to our latest podcast episode at https://soundcloud.com/lets-talk-title.