State Agency Warns Consumers of Forged and Fraudulent Property Deeds — Consumers Urged to be Proactive to Guard Against and Repair the Damage Caused by Scams

The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) issued a Consumer Alert

last week about the growing number of scams that involve forged or

fraudulent property deeds and what consumers can do to protect

themselves against such fraud. The DRE is a state department whose

mission is to protect the public interests in real estate matters.

“In the current economic climate, criminal fraud related to real

property deeds is on the rise and homeowners should be on the lookout

for red flags to ensure the title to their property is protected,”

stated Barbara Bigby, Acting Real Estate Commissioner.

The department issued the alert to educate the public about the document

recordation process, highlight some of the different types of deed scams

which are being perpetrated against property owners, and to provide a

checklist of warning signs that suggest or signify fraud. The Alert also

informs victims of actions they can take, including what steps are

necessary to rectify “clouded” ownership records.

The warning signs of deed fraud include:

The key to stopping these kinds of scams is to immediately act on any

suspicious activity. Initial steps a homeowner should take immediately

include:

To obtain a copy of the Alert and to learn more about the DRE and its

program areas, visit www.dre.ca.gov.