What do you get when you combine identity theft with mortgage fraud? The FBI calls it house-stealing. The FBI warned of this activity as far back as March of 2008. At that time, the FBI noted that “house-stealing is not too common at this point, but we’re keeping an eye out for any major cases or developing trends.” They referred to house stealing as “the latest scam on the block.” So, what’s been going on since 2008? It’s hard to tell. While statistics are available for all sorts of wire fraud and mortgage fraud, instances of house-stealing are not broken out. What experts do know is that, thanks to the internet, crime of this sort is on the rise.
Learn more about how house-stealing works and the recommendations of the FBI here.
The article first appeared in the Trust and Estates Newsletter of the Illinois State Bar Association.