The Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office is now offering residents a free app that will help protect against property fraud.
The app seeks to take aim at what the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports as the fastest-growing, white-collar crime in the nation.
The Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office is offering residents the app to help them monitor documents such as deeds, wills and liens filed with Pasco County.
Pinellas, Polk and Palm Harbor counties have launched similar preventative programs during the past year, using up-to-date social media technology.
As of last week, four alerts had been sent out, though no one had yet reported any fraudulent activity.
The app is an early warning system that works in the same way a credit card alert program does, O’Neil explained.
While alerts don’t automatically mean something is wrong, people will know if they need to question an activity, she said.
“It lets them know if something is wrong,” said O’Neil. “There are no fees for any of it.”
Residents or business owners can go online to register the name or names to be monitored. They choose a notification method including by email or phone.
Alerts go out when a document is recorded with the registered name or names. Property owners can verify whether they initiated the activity.
A typical fraud might include filing a forged deed that records a new owner, and then taking out a mortgage on the property. Such activity, in some cases, could go undetected until the true owner refinanced or sold the property.
O’Neil said the app also could protect people from phone scammers who illicit personal information later used to file false documents.
If fraud is suspected, law enforcement or another appropriate agency can be contacted for follow up.
To register call (800) 747-4600, or visit www.pascoclerk.com and go to the link for “property fraud alert service.”
Published November 18, 2015