– Lee County property owners can now sign up for a new free service to alert themselves of potential property fraud, Clerk Linda Doggett announced today.
Property Fraud Alert emails notifications to subscribers within 48-hours whenever a lien, deed, mortgage or other land record with their registered name on it has been recorded into the Clerk’s Official Records. This notification does not apply to documents filed in court proceedings.
According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is one of the fastest growing white-collar crimes. Scammers file fraudulent deeds, making it appear as if they own the property. This type of fraud can go undetected if the property owner does not periodically check the Official Records. Although checking does not prevent the actual fraudulent activity from occurring, it does provide an early warning of what may have otherwise gone undetected.
“We invest in insurance and security systems to protect valuables inside our houses, but we often forget about our actual homes and property,” Doggett said.
All property owners in Lee County are encouraged to sign up and begin protecting their property. To subscribe or learn more, visit LeeClerk.org/propertyfraud.
After registering and confirming your email address, any time a document is recorded in Lee County that matches the name that you registered, you will be alerted by email. A link is provided in the email to easily view the recorded document.
If you register with a common name, you may receive an alert for a legitimate record that pertains to another individual with the same name.
“Reviewing your property records is an important way to protect you from fraud. I encourage you to sign up today and take advantage of this free service” Doggett said.
Anybody who believes they have been the victim of property fraud should contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 239-477-1000.