How to protect yourself against home title theft
When you buy a new home, you get a title, which represents your legal right to the property. Interestingly, these home titles aren’t physical documents, which can actually make them even more tantalizing to cyber criminals. So while rare, home title theft is a dangerous scam that, if successful, involves transferring the legal ownership of a property to an unknown party.
To take someone’s home title requires not only stealing information, but also being an ace forger, which is a pretty difficult one-two to pull off. That said, if someone is able to do all that, then they can use the title documents to take out a mortgage or loan against your home — a very frightening prospect. So although title theft is extremely unlikely, when the stars do align, it can be disastrous and financially ruinous.
How can I protect myself from home title theft?
Although the chances of pulling off this crime are low, home title theft does happen. So while protecting yourself may be low on your list of priorities, it pays to adopt preventative measures now. There are a few easy things you can do to protect your home.
First and foremost, stay safe on the internet! Use strong, unique passwords; be wary of unsolicited emails and messages; don’t overshare info online; and think about adding a VPN. Here at Marble, we recommend looking into cybersecurity tools; we really love Bitdefender’s security packages, which come with VPNs, password management, and identity theft protection. The safer your online self is, the safer you will be in real life!
Second: once you’ve gotten your deed, don’t just set it and forget it. Review your paperwork and filing information, and look out for signatures you don’t recognize or any calls made in your name. If you own a rental property, you’ll want to stay on top of that title, too.
It’s also a good idea to monitor your financial statements for unusual transactions. We recommend checking on your credit score regularly, too.
And finally, be sure to read any mail you receive that is from a mortgage company — even if it’s addressed to someone else. If you receive anything suspicious or alarming, call your mortgage company directly.
If you do find yourself the victim of title fraud, you’ll want to immediately freeze your credit and then file a report with the Federal Trade Commission. The government agency can help with recovery steps.
What else can I do?
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, so the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to have insurance in place. If you’re not satisfied with your home insurance policies or you’re just not sure where to start, Marble can help. Sign up today to compare policies and quotes, keep your documents organized, and earn rewards on the insurance you already have. Join Marble today!