The State of California is warning prospective homeowners about a growing number of scams involving fraudulent property deeds. Officials are also informing consumers about what they can do to protect themselves against such threats. "In the current economic climate, criminal fraud related to real property deeds is on the rise and homeowners should be on the lookout for red flags to ensure the title to their property is protected," said Barbara Bigby, acting real estate commissioner for the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). In the event that consumers recognize a fraudulent property deed, they should contact the local county recorder's office and warn them of the fraud. They should also file a complaint with the DRE if a real estate broker, or unlicensed person purporting to be a real estate licensee, is suspected to be involved in the forging of any fraudulent deed. Property owners and mortgage lenders are also advised to adopt ID verification measures to ensure authenticity. Consumer credit reports
should also be used to determine the veracity of a borrower's claims.