An Overview of Home Title Theft
Home Title Theft is when a malicious actor uses sensitive personal information, such as date of birth, Social Security number, etc, to reassign someone’s home title/property title to another third party, virtually stealing the home out from under the homeowner. The homeowner usually only finds out when strange notices of the property being sold or foreclosure notices occur.
The most common ways in which home title theft is committed are phishing schemes, viruses/malware which steal information from computers, data breaches that make their way to the dark web, vulnerable Wi-Fi networks which allow threat actors and mail theft.
Mail theft is another way home title theft can occur. Thieves steal critical mail from a homeowner’s mailbox in order to obtain their personal information.
Once the thieves have personal information like birth dates and Social Security numbers, they can use it to fraudulently re-register the home title in another name.
Homeowners can combat this by regularly checking their mailboxes and shredding mail that includes sensitive information before disposing of it.
When a property title is stolen, it can result in the homeowner losing their home through unauthorized sale or foreclosure. Even when theft is ultimately prevented, the process can result in legal complication and damage to the homeowner’s credit record.
How to Prevent Yourself From Falling Victim:
Regularly review and safeguard your credit. Request a fraud alert is placed on your credit file to prevent new accounts being opened in your name. If there are any unauthorized inquiries, cards, accounts, etc in any of your reports, dispute them with the relevant bureau. Regularly review your credit reports and consider a subscription with IDnotify via BlackCloak.
If a theft has taken place, contact BlackCloak as soon as possible
Steps BlackCloak Will Then Advise:
- Contact the police to create a paper trail, file a report, that will be helpful if you need to take legal action.
- Close unauthorized accounts/cards/loans etc on your credit report if you discover any. Contact any lenders/etc of cards/accounts/loans you didn’t take out, that were taken out in your name, to notify them of the fraud and have the accounts closed.
- Contact your mortgage lender to alert them to the situation, which can prevent future financial harm and foreclosure.
- Retain records. Keep all correspondence and documents related to the theft as this will help if you need to take legal action.