• How to make sure you don't become victim to homeowner fraud

    By: Shannon Butler


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The FBI says home-stealing is a growing issue. It’s a problem WFTV Eyewitness News has been reporting on for years. 

    Eyewitness News reported in 2014, when Vivian Smith, 93, was living in a nursing home and someone filed paperwork with Orange County to say she signed her home over for $100. That turned out to be a lie.

    Read: Woman accused of stealing 94-year-old woman's home gets plea deal to stay out of prison

    The FBI said her case is not that uncommon and that deed fraud is becoming a growing problem.

    Most people don't even know they are a victim of deed fraud until it is too late.

    The Orange County comptroller has now put in place a property fraud alert system.

    “Cybercrime is a big deal now, and we are trying to protect citizens and give them a way to tell if somebody recorded something with their name on it,” said Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond.

    Read: Action 9 exposes phony deed scams

    The website, propertyfraudalert.com, works like a bank. It will alert a homeowner when something is filed in their name on their home. The homeowner will get an alert to see if it was something the homeowner did, or if they’re falling victim to fraud.

    The website alert system is free. Click here for more information.

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