COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The Franklin County Auditor’s Office hopes to give property owners peace of mind with an extra layer of protection against title theft and fraud.
Imagine opening a piece of mail with a mortgage refinancing offer and it’s not addressed in your name, or you stop receiving official documents in the mail.
“So, in my time as the County Auditor, we’ve heard from a number of property owners concerned about title theft,” said Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano.
He noted a change of name or address documents could be a red flag a property owner has fallen victim to title theft or fraud.
“It was just that unknown, knowing that these documents exist over here, that there are people with technological capabilities that may be able to cause some problems.”
His office explained that of the 60,000 properties that get registered and filed through his office, there have been three to four cases that caught their attention. Recently the auditor’s office unveiled a new property e-alert system to add more protection for property owners.
“We’re excited that it’s a free service that allows for that additional protection and security that we’ve heard that’s so important to property owners and so we want to continue to build that out.”
To register for the program, simply visit the auditor’s website and add your email address to start receiving any notifications about your home.
“It might not even be title-related, if there’s a value change, something the auditor’s office does regularly, then if you register that property, you’d be notified of that change to the property.”
Since the program’s launch, Stinziano said the response has been great.
“We also encourage you to view your property, make sure the record’s correct, or if there’s any other diligence or things that we need to clean up on our side, to take advantage of that.”
If you believe you might be a victim of home title theft, he urges you to contact his office right away.
“We do have a fraud hotline if anyone has any concerns if it’s on their property or other functions throughout the county, we encourage them to contact the Franklin County Auditor’s office and we will use our resources or get in touch with the appropriate law enforcement if needed.”