Property Deed Fraud on the Rise in Florida – PROTECT YOURSELF

Tax Property Deed Fraud Alert & Sign Up

Property deed fraud is a growing concern in Florida, with scammers taking advantage of the hot real estate market to illegally sell properties without the owners’ knowledge. According to a recent article published by Florida Realtors, more than 54% of real estate professionals in the state experienced property deed fraud firsthand in the second half of 2023.

One such case involved John Roney, a property owner in North Florida, who nearly lost his three-acre waterfront lot to scammers. Fortunately, the bank caught the fraudulent activity just before the closing when they noticed discrepancies in the property deed, including an incorrect driver’s license number and a misspelling of Roney’s last name.

The switch to online records has exacerbated the issue, with a significant portion of property transactions now being conducted solely online. Out of the 65,000 records recorded by Clay County’s Clerk of Court in 2023, 54,000 were done online, making it easier for scammers to manipulate documents.

To protect themselves, property owners are urged to sign up for their local county’s property fraud alert program. These programs send emails and texts to notify owners of any activity on their land, serving as an early warning system for potential fraud. However, despite the availability of these programs, many people are unaware of them. In Clay County, for example, out of the approximately 230,000 residents, only 28,000 have signed up for the property fraud alert program.

Fortunately, all of Florida’s 67 counties have some form of property fraud alert program in place. Property owners can visit the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers website at for more information on how to sign up for these programs and protect their properties from fraudulent activity.

For those interested in learning more about property deed fraud and how to register for text notifications through Broward County Property Appraiser’s Owner Alert service, Broward County Property Appraiser Marty Kiar has provided a helpful video guide. The video can be accessed at, which includes the link to register and detailed instructions on the registration process.

By staying informed and utilizing available resources, property owners can take proactive steps to safeguard their investments and prevent falling victim to property deed fraud.