Author: District Attorney
Date: 5/9/2023 10:25:15 AM
In recent weeks there have been numerous reports of real estate fraud involving criminals who are posing as property owners and contacting real estate agents to sell a property that they do not own title to. The criminals have engaged the real estate professional by impersonating the property owner and are attempting to negotiate the sale of properties which are vacant or lien free.
District Attorney Dan Dow urges all real estate professionals to beware of a new scam that is now happening frequently. Law enforcement agencies in several California counties have observed a recent sharp increase in reports of real estate fraud associated with the sale of vacant land and unencumbered property. Criminals are posing as property owners and through a series of impersonations are negotiating the sale of properties which are vacant or lien free.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office is investigating seven such attempts within our county occurring since mid-April. The District Attorney’s Office Real Estate Fraud Unit has already notified county-wide real estate associations, title companies, and the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office.
Property owners are encouraged to check their property address using a trusted real estate website such as Zillow or MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to determine if their property has been fraudulently listed for sale. Additionally, owners may conduct a property title search using the County Clerk-Recorder website official record search.
If you discover that your property has been fraudulently listed for sale or sold, contact District Attorney Investigator Eric Vitale at (805) 781-5868.
How the scheme works
How it is discovered
How to prevent falling victim
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1055 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
County Phone Directory: 805-781-5000
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