HOUGHTON — Houghton County has a way to protect to protect its residents from property fraud. ABC 10’s Rick Allen explains.

It’s said to be the fastest growing white collar crime in the country. Scammers using your own property to rip you off. It happens when a criminal files a bogus deed making appear that you transferred ownership to them. They then can take that deed to a bank and get a mortgage and you get a bill. How do you know when you’ve been a victim of property fraud?

Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Lorenz said, “Sometimes they don’t. It’s not until they happen to try to get a new mortgage, do something, go through the banks and they find own there’s a lien.”

Crooks like to target the elderly…those in long-term care facilities, and snowbirds—basically anybody who may spend long periods of time away from home and might not be around to notice something’s wrong.

Houghton County is urging residents to sign up for Property Fraud Alert…a free service that will let you know when you’re being scammed.

Lorenz said, “When they sign up for this program, they would get notified how they choose—either by email or phone or both, if they wish. They can do both.”

Signing up is easy and only takes a few seconds…simply go to www.propertyfraudalert.com.