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TELL CITY - A new monitoring system offered by the Perry County Recorder's Office allows residents to learn if someone is using their name in an attempt to commit property fraud.
County Recorder Jane James is encouraging residents to take advantage of the Property Fraud Alert service, which she said allows the public to have their name monitored within the recorder's office in order to track possible fraudulent activity.
Subscribers will be notified when a name they have submitted is used in any recording within the office, such as a deed or mortgage.
The threat of property-fraud crimes continues to rise, James said, pointing out FBI statistics that show there is no faster growing white-collar crime in this country.
Criminals operate by creating fraudulent deeds, then recording the deed at local land-records offices without the true owner's knowledge, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. Thieves often use fake names to record the deed and use the property records to falsely obtain mortgages.
If the fraud is not caught first during a title search, the bogus borrower could collect the loan's proceeds.
The service does not prevent fraud from being perpetrated but provides an early warning system for subscribers to take appropriate actions should they determine possible fraudulent activity has taken place.
"The service is easy to sign up for and offers peace of mind," James said.
The service and database are managed and maintained by Fidlar Technologies, the county-recorder's software provider for land records.
Residents can sign up on-line at www.propertyfraudalert.com/perryin.
Subscribers can choose whether to receive their alerts via e-mail or over the phone.
For more information on the free service, call the recorder's office at 547-4261 or visit 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.