Protecting your home through technology
The scams you should know about homeownership
When a homeowner leaves the title company office, usually with a Realtor and an attorney by her side, she may think the job is done. She’s signed a stack of paperwork, gotten homeowners insurance, read through various assessment ledgers and condo bylaws (if it’s a multi-unit), and everyone has their checks. At that point, she’s focused on moving boxes and a truck, where the pets will stay, and days off from work to unpack. By the time the homeowner settles down and moves into the home, that ideally should be the end of home selling woes—assuming assessments, the mortgage and insurance are paid on time.
Unfortunately, there are also hackers just waiting on homeowners to slip up so they may be able to profit from this same address. Here are five ways that you should keep tabs on your home—whether you’re living in it or decide to later use it as a rental investment.
Know the name on the deed at all times
According to Norton, abandoned homes, unoccupied homes and vacation homes are primary targets of deed fraud. While scammers may target homes with families living in them, deed fraud is much easier for property owners who aren’t regularly checking online to make sure the initial paperwork is correct. Scammers may forge the name on the deed to try to sell the home right from up under you.
An owner’s title insurance policy is one way to guard against this. Another way is to check with your local registry regarding the status of your deed. Make sure nothing on your deed looks different than the last time you saw it. Also, keep tabs on bills. If you know when you’re supposed to pay the electricity bill, the water and sewage bill, and the garbage bill, contact bill collectors if your paperwork suddenly stops. Bill collectors do not forget late payments nor that you owe. Chances are fairly high that if those bills aren’t being paid, someone has changed the address and is hiding the name of the person who is on those bills now.