Gregg County property owners have new protection against property fraud, through a new free service offered by the county clerk’s office.

County Clerk Michelle Gilley reported Property Fraud Alert is an online subscription service that allows members of the public to monitor their names through the county clerk’s office to track possible fraudulent recordings that affect their property.

“The threat of mortgage fraud and identity theft crimes continue to rise, and all too often victims of these types of fraudulent activities are unaware their homes or identity have been stolen,” information from Gilley’s office says. “While Property Fraud Alert does not prevent fraud from happening, it does provide an early warning system for property owners to take appropriate actions should they determine possible fraudulent activity has taken place.”

A common property fraud scenario involves a criminal filing a bogus deed making it appear that the actual owner had transferred ownership of a parcel to someone else. The criminal then takes that deed to a bank, fraudulently obtains a mortgage and then disappears with a large amount of money. While it can happen to anyone, perpetrators of property fraud often prey on the elderly, people in long-term care facilities, absentee property owners and owners who spent large parts of the year out of town.”

Property Fraud Alert subscribers will be notified when the name they have submitted is used in any recording activities within the property records of the Gregg County Clerk’s office. Subscribers may choose to be notified by email or telephone call.

“The best protection against property fraud is being proactive. This service is easy to sign up for and offers a little extra peace of mind with just a few clicks of the computer mouse,” Gilley’s office reported.

Property Fraud Alert is available by visiting propertyfraudalert.com and selecting Gregg, TX from the dropdown menu, or by calling 800-728-3858.

The Property Fraud Alert link also is available from the Gregg County Clerk’s website, co.gregg.tx.us/county-clerk .

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