After Tropical Storm Hilary blasted the Baja and San Diego regions in mid-August, the Federal Trade Commission urged people to watch for a surge in rip-offs.
Opportunists may say they’re performing appraisals, but unless they are licensed appraisers, they lack professional accountability. If they’re improperly doing the work of adjusters, they might be violating state insurance law, too.
Their goal? To fleece people and then walk away from them in their time of need. Today’s climate realities offer schemers plenty of chances to rip people off.
Continue reading ““Unlicensed Appraisal” and Other Stories: How Scam Artists Chase Disaster Victims”
Some people will steal their own mothers’ homes.
In a stunning case of deed fraud, a woman named Wanda donned a wig and pretended to be her own elderly mother, then tried to steal her home in Hillsborough County, Florida. A video recording shows Wanda using the Notarize computer-based notary service, signing a quitclaim deed. She signed her mother’s name to take the deed for herself.
In May 2023, the Tampa police apprehended Wanda on counts of forgery and elder exploitation.
A weird and unusual case, surely? Alas, there are quite a few deed scoundrels alive and well in Florida. The state is among the top three for identity theft, according to the 2022 figures from the Federal Trade Commission.
Continue reading “Quitclaim Forgery Is Snatching Florida Homes From Seniors and Dead People”