Gwinnett County Police warns residents of potential real estate fraud

Press release from Gwinnett county police

Quit claim deeds and property resale occurs without property owner’s knowledge

GWINNETT COUNTY, GA (Jan. 17, 2023) Gwinnett County Police Department is warning residents of an unusual type of real estate fraud. 

In these types of real estate fraud, suspects are forging signatures, using false identifications, and faking notary stamps to obtain forged property titles and filing for quit claim deeds without the consent of the property owner. Quit claim deeds are legally used to transfer ownership between trusted individuals, usually when no money is changing hands.  They offer no warranty that the seller owns or has any rights to the property. 

When a suspect obtains a quit claim deed to a property, they will often resell the property to an unsuspecting victim or try to extort the real property owner for money.  This type of fraud typically occurs with vacant parcels and properties without homes on them.  Occasionally they happen with rental properties. 

Property buyers can protect themselves by having a title search of the property performed.  Buyers should be suspicious if there was a recent quit claim deed done shortly before the sale of the property.  Buyers can also look into getting a Title Insurance policy when making a purchase. 

Property owners can enroll in the Fraud Alert Notification System (FANS) to opt in the receive notification whenever a deed, mortgage, or a lien is filed on a property parcel.  More information can be found through the Gwinnett County Superior Court Clerk’s office.  If you have been the victim of real estate deed fraud, contact the Gwinnett County Police 770.513.5700 to obtain a fraud report

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