In this day and age, we all need to be vigilant of scams that try to take advantage of us, particularly when it comes to huge transactions like the sale of a home or other property. Some parties to these transactions will engage in fraud to advance their own interests. The FBI calls it one of the fastest growing crimes in America.
How to Protect Yourself When Buying a New Home
The right time to insure yourself against the risk of title fraud is when you’re purchasing a new home. Work with a licensed Realtor or real estate agent who can recommend the best title company when buying a home.
Always take time to physically check out the property you want to buy. Here are three things you should ask for:
- A title search from the title company.
- A professional home inspection, so you don’t buy a home that has hidden problems or surprises that may show up after closing.
- An explanation of all the closing documents before you sign any papers, especially the ones you might not understand.
When you buy a house, you also buy the title to the property. Your title company registers you as the true owner of the property in the appropriate courthouse, registry or title office.
You can sign up for the alert on the clerk’s website. Then you’ll get notified whenever any official record in your name is filed.
To sign up, follow the links below:
Pasco County: https://pfa.fidlar.com/FLPasco
Hillsborough County: https://www.hillsclerk.com/Additional-Services/Property-Fraud-Alert
Last but not least:
Verbally verifying wire instructions before sending your payment is the single most important step in protecting yourself from wire fraud. Hackers have recently been changing wire transfer instructions via email right before the transfer is completed. It is vital to contact the person or company you are wiring money to before sending money to confirm that all information is correct and trustworthy!