How can you prevent your house from being stolen? In 2008, the FBI advised that it isn't easy, and that the best defense is proactive vigilance. Because property deed theft has steadily increased since then, with the problem becoming increasingly more complex, adhering to the FBI advice is increasingly important.
Become informed, remain proactive and take the steps outlined on this FBI website :
- From time to time, check all information pertaining to your house through your county’s deeds office, or local deed record or registrar's office. If you see any paperwork you don’t recognize or any signature that is not yours, look into it. Make sure all documents and signatures are legitimate.
- If you receive a payment book or other information about a loan that isn't yours, whether your name is on the envelope or not, do not just throw it away! Open the envelope and follow up with the company that sent it.
Some deed-recording offices use software that alerts a homeowner whenever a transfer is made on their property. If yours doesn't, ask why they don't utilize such software. Also, don't depend on them. Make periodic checks.
If you discover your home has been stolen, immediately report it to your district attorney or state attorney general's office. And contact your local FBI office .