NewsLocal News

Actions

Free program helps stop property scams in Collier County

Free program help stop property scams in Collier County
Posted at 7:40 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 19:40:14-05

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — A free new service is launched in Collier County to help you monitor and protect your property records.

It's called the Risk Alert Notification Program, and its goal is to stop scammers in their tracks.

Officials say while the Risk Alert Notification Program doesn’t prevent the actual crime from happening, it helps people take immediate action if they are victims of property fraud.

“With property fraud, scammers file phony records with the county — let’s say for example a property deed — to make it appear as they own a home that’s not theirs, and then they deceive people into giving them money to buy or rent that home,” said Mike Sheffield, Director of Community Relations and Outreach.

To help Collier County residents reduce their risk of falling victims to property fraud, Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller Crystal K. Kinzel launched the Risk Alert Notification Program.

“Subscribers will receive an alert if a deed, lien, or other land record matching the subscriber's name is recorded in the official records of Collier County,” said Sheffield.

“If a subscriber receives an alert, he or she can determine whether the activity is legitimate or if the scammer is committing fraud, and if it is a fraud, quickly, contact law enforcement."

Sheffield says although property fraud is a rare occurrence in Collier County, it’s one of the fastest-growing white-collar crimes in the country.

“When it comes to fraud, it’s better to be proactive than reactive, so we encourage all Collier County property owners to subscribe to this service.”

Those interested in subscribing to the free Risk Alert Notification Program can do so online on the Clerk’s website, CollierClerk.com.