Citrus County Clerk of Courts and County Recorder Angela Vick wants to remind citizens about the FREE Recording Activity Notice (RAN) program that offers residents and businesses fraud protection for their property(s).
“This fraud alert is important because it gives the citizens of Citrus County, or those who own property here, the ability to track documents filed in the official records involving their name or business,” Vick said. “Property fraud alerts do not prevent fraud, but they do allow the property owner to be notified and take appropriate legal action if something potentially illegal is filed.”
Property fraud occurs when a person fraudulently files documents against property for financial gain or to take over ownership without the owner’s knowledge. Scammers target individuals in multiple ways. One document targeted and used by scammers is a recorded Power of Attorney because they grant access to information such as bank accounts and assets. Scammers also watch obituaries and act quickly by forging the name of a deceased person on a deed to transfer the property and secure the title. Then the property is used to secure loans. The scammer defaults on the loans, and lenders seize the property.
“Fraud can happen to anyone,” Vick continued, “but some are more vulnerable: senior citizens, immigrants, those facing foreclosure, and those who have multiple properties — second homes, vacation property or investment property. Also at risk are those who own unoccupied homes, lots or businesses.”
Vick said her office believes “it is important to offer this service to those who entrust their official records documents to us.”
Users can set up multiple alerts to monitor different spellings of their name or business, if they are concerned that it might be missed. Even so, the alert is only as effective as the correct spelling of the name that is being monitored.
Once registered for this service, you will receive an automatic email notification when a document is recorded in Citrus County specifically naming you or your business entity. The notifications are generated within 24 hours of a document being indexed into the Official Records, providing you with prompt notification of any recordings. Included in the notification will be the document type, registered name, and a direct link to view the recorded document.
To sign up for this fraud alert protection, users simply need to go to citrusclerk.org/ran and click on the “click here to sign-up for alerts” button. The online form requires a valid email address, as those who register will be immediately notified by email should a document be recorded that matches the criteria provided. Assistance is also available at (352) 341-6424, option 2 for any questions.