A California county is under siege by fraudsters pretending to be property owners and tricking real estate agents into selling properties they do not own.
According to a press statement from the Office of the District Attorney for San Luis Obispo County, the fraudsters identify vacant or lien-free properties and attempt to negotiate their sale with local real estate agents. Seven cases of this chicanery have reported within the county since mid-April, although it is unclear how long this scam has been taking place in the county or if any of the fraudulent sales were completed.
“This scheme has particularly affected the elderly and foreign real estate property owners as there are no means to automatically notify the legitimate owners,” said the district attorney’s office. “The burden of verification is on the real estate and title companies.”