Property scams targeting homeowners and renters

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - "In all I ended up losing 956 dollars somewhere around there."

Cheyne Abrams didn't think there was anything unusual when he sent a check for a deposit on a home he wanted to rent. The person he talked to over the phone said his name was Brian and claimed to be the property owner. Cheyne said, "He told me the whole back story of the actual Brian Gleason and there you go."
NewsChannel 5 met the real owner of the house, Brian Gleason, who happens to be a realtor. He says the house is for sale, but didn't find out until recently that someone was using his name and property to scam people. Brian said, "After a few of these I said, where are you finding this ad, and they said craigslist. And I said I don't have an ad for lease listing on craigslist."

The Clerk and Comptroller's office says scams like this one are a reminder to annually check your property's listing to make sure someone has not used fraudulent papers to scam you or someone else.

Clerk Sharon Bock said, "Just as once a year we are all told to check our credit reports, we like to tell you to please also check your property report as well."

She says it's as simple as going to the Palm Beach County Clerk's web site. "Make sure that you are the owner and make sure that no one has perpetrated a fraud on you by putting in a document that is illegal or fraudulent."

Click here for more information.

Property Appraiser of Palm Beach County