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Old 03-20-2024, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Beacon Falls
1,361 posts, read 990,279 times
Reputation: 1767

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I keep hearing about these situations where someone owns a vacant lot, with the intent to build a house there eventually, but in the meantime, a scammer comes along and sells that lot to say, a developer who builds a house on that property.

How does this happen? Doesn't the deed need to be filed (recorded?) with the town? If it is, doesn't someone from the town say, hey wait a sec - there already is a deed for this property..."?

No, I am not looking to sell someone else's property I am just curious as to how this keeps happening.
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Old 03-21-2024, 02:35 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
3,067 posts, read 8,405,839 times
Reputation: 5714
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffwraith View Post
I keep hearing about these situations where someone owns a vacant lot, with the intent to build a house there eventually, but in the meantime, a scammer comes along and sells that lot to say, a developer who builds a house on that property.

How does this happen? Doesn't the deed need to be filed (recorded?) with the town? If it is, doesn't someone from the town say, hey wait a sec - there already is a deed for this property..."?

No, I am not looking to sell someone else's property I am just curious as to how this keeps happening.

It happens because Buyers do not perform sufficient due diligence to ensure it is not a scam/scammer. Many land only transactions wind up being without title searches/title insurance which can help prevent that. There are many seller to buyer direct transactions that have no middleman/third party safeguards against this.
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Old 03-21-2024, 03:56 AM
 
9 posts, read 5,693 times
Reputation: 27
I have heard of this as well and it's really annoying. These scammers are really good in forging identities to sell property belonging to others. Their tactics are really deceiving. I hope they will be punished for their illicit activites.
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Old 03-21-2024, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
43,264 posts, read 77,043,330 times
Reputation: 45611
Here's one way:

https://www.statesvillenc.net/2023/0...itation-scams/
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Old 03-21-2024, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
10,966 posts, read 21,972,507 times
Reputation: 10659
Stolen identity, fake identification, fake account, vacant lot where the owner won't notice it's for sale, and the attorney not catching it on a mail away closing. There was one in my market where one did get closed. The seller found out when they got the notice mailed to them from the county. Not sure the fallout, but the buyer that lost their money are suing several folks including the attorney to reimbursed.

I had one that was close but figured it out before the place sold. I found the actual owner and they decided to sell the land for what people were willing to pay.

Forewarn is actually a great app to find out if it's a real number or a burner account.
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Old 03-21-2024, 07:26 AM
 
8,574 posts, read 12,395,872 times
Reputation: 16517
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffwraith View Post
How does a scammer go about selling someone else's property?
Forgery. I could give you step-by-step instructions, but you said that you weren't looking to steal someone's property.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
That's a rather low-level scam. The big boys deal with stealing people's houses or getting mortgages on them--not just trying to get $100 for a phony document. I think Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit area) had the first Mortgage & Deed Fraud unit in the country within their Register of Deeds Office. To date, they've gotten 347 convictions on over 2,300 cases investigated.

https://www.waynecounty.com/elected/...raud-unit.aspx
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Old 03-21-2024, 08:02 AM
 
13,131 posts, read 20,968,136 times
Reputation: 21410
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffwraith View Post
How does this happen? Doesn't the deed need to be filed (recorded?) with the town? If it is, doesn't someone from the town say, hey wait a sec - there already is a deed for this property..."?
Deed is meaningless in these cases. On the sales aspect, there are two common ways:

1. They simply steal the identity of the legitimate owners. When dealing with out of town landowners, odds are nobody really knows who they are or what they look like. They sell as if they are the legitimate owners and pocket any proceeds. The property is owned by John and Mary Smith and for the basis of this sale, it's John and Mary Smith selling the property.

2. They scam unsuspected owners into signing over ownership to them. Often it involves some financial rescue or inheritance transfer ploy where they unsuspected owner is duped into handing them ownership. Once the scammers own the property, they sell it as the new owner. The property is owned by John and Mary Smith who legally transferred it to ScammySams Trust LLC who is now the owner and seller.

and lets not forget the Repatriation Act, or Tax Overpayment, or Homestead Rebate, etc., etc., etc. processing which is just a clandestine secured loan application that results in a foreclosure.
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Old 03-21-2024, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Beacon Falls
1,361 posts, read 990,279 times
Reputation: 1767
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmichigan View Post
Forgery. I could give you step-by-step instructions, but you said that you weren't looking to steal someone's property.
Yeah, no - I don't need a play by play here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabrrita View Post
Deed is meaningless in these cases.
How is the deed meaningless? Isn't it a legal doc showing transfer of ownership? If the town has the deed for 10 Church St., showing Jane Cook owns it, how is it possible that someone else can record a deed for that same property with the same town clerk's office? Is it b/c the town clerk does not check?
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Old 03-21-2024, 10:29 AM
 
13,131 posts, read 20,968,136 times
Reputation: 21410
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffwraith View Post
How is the deed meaningless? Isn't it a legal doc showing transfer of ownership? If the town has the deed for 10 Church St., showing Jane Cook owns it, how is it possible that someone else can record a deed for that same property with the same town clerk's office? Is it b/c the town clerk does not check?
Do you understand what a deed is and how recorded deeds work? The deed showing Jane Cook as the owner will be replaced with a deed showing Frank N. Beans as owner if Jane Cook sells/transfers the ownership to Frank. Plain and simple.
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Old 03-21-2024, 10:31 AM
 
8,574 posts, read 12,395,872 times
Reputation: 16517
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabrrita View Post
Deed is meaningless in these cases.
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffwraith View Post
How is the deed meaningless? Isn't it a legal doc showing transfer of ownership? If the town has the deed for 10 Church St., showing Jane Cook owns it, how is it possible that someone else can record a deed for that same property with the same town clerk's office? Is it b/c the town clerk does not check?
All transfer of ownership involves a Deed.

Generally, recording offices do not check the veracity of a Deed. They simply don't have the resources to do so. If presented with a notarized Deed in the proper form, they generally go ahead and record it.
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