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Spike in Deed Fraud Leads to 'Epidemic' of Fake Home Sales

Meant to improve transparency in real estate transactions, recent moves by municipalities to place property and sales records online has led to a spike in fake home sales, a rising threat to homeowners in cities such as New York, Chicago and Detroit. A recent Wall Street Journal story chronicles the increasing prevalence of deed fraud, which has reached "epidemic" proportions in Harlem. The story of Sybil Patrick, whose brownstone was sold without her knowledge for $750,000, illustrated the prevalence of the issue; four people were arrested for allegedly forging deeds for Mrs. Patrick's property, one of 30 they targeted in Manhattan.

How often does this happen? >>