Atlanta/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on January 17, 2024
Gwinnett County Police Warn of Spike in Real Estate Scams Using Forged DeedsSource: Google Street View

Residents in Gwinnett County are being put on high alert as the local police department reports a spike in real estate scams that could rob homeowners of their properties without them even realizing it. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, authorities have identified an 'unusual type of real estate fraud' where scammers forge documents and signatures to illicitly transfer property titles. This disturbing trend has seen thieves quickly file claim deeds, potentially leading to resale of the homes or extortion of the actual owners.

Emphasizing the seriousness of the scheme, the Gwinnett County Police Department (GCPD) alerted the public to the methods used by the fraudsters, including fake notary stamps and forged quit claim deeds. Quit claim deeds, which are often utilized for ownership transfers between known parties, have become a tool for criminals aiming to sell properties or extort owners, as noted by AccessWDUN. While the scam typically targets vacant lots, it's not unheard of for rental properties to fall victim to these practices as well.

In response to the increasing incidents of fraud, GCPD is urging residents to take preventative measures. Homeowners are advised to conduct a title search, register for Georgia Superior Court Clerk's Filing Activity Notification System, and consider obtaining a title insurance policy to safeguard against potential fraud. The police have also developed a Fraud Alert Notification System, where property owners can receive immediate alerts if a deed, mortgage, or lien is filed on their property.

Moreover, the police warn potential buyers to be vigilant, especially if a recent quit claim deed precedes the sale of a property. Such cases may signal fraudulent activity, hence it's crucial to verify all documentation before proceeding with any real estate transaction. Victims of real estate deed fraud are encouraged to report their cases by calling the Gwinnett County Police at (770) 513-5700, ensuring a swift response to this growing criminal tactic.

Atlanta-Real Estate & Development