The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public and local real estate agencies of scams that have been recently reported
YCSO has received several separate notifications in the past few weeks that scammers are contacting real estate agencies pretending to be the owners of properties around the Prescott area. The scammer begins by asking the agent to provide a market analysis of the property and then immediately list it for them. In most cases, immediately means either a “short sale” or a cash only sale with a quick close. The “seller” has been reported to have a heavy middle eastern accent. Title companies and their brokers are encouraged to track / verify the IP address(es). All document signings should be in person. Either at the Title Company or by a designated agents visit to the new buyer – i.e., “wet signature." Document signing should never be done electronically.
To protect real estate agencies from falling victim to this scam, YCSO recommends that real estate professionals ask questions to help verify if they are speaking with the rightful owners of the property as well as ask both buyer and seller for photo Identification. Real estate agents can also inform the rightful owners about Yavapai County’s ‘Eagle Fraud Guard’ program. This email subscription program allows citizens to proactively monitor and be alerted when a document is recorded in their name and/or a business name in Yavapai County. When documents are recorded, meeting a citizen’s search criteria, an email is automatically generated and sent to the citizen notifying them of the recording along with some basic information about the document.
If you or your agency should ever find yourself in this situation, please contact YCSO’s Fraud Department direct line at 928-771-3299 or dispatch at 928-771-3260. YCSO encourages all citizens to take an active role in preventing fraud by subscribing to their Eagle Fraud Guard program. Citizens may unsubscribe from this service at any time as well as change or update criteria being monitored.
For more information and to sign up for Eagle Fraud Guard, please visit: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office
Call YCSO at 928-771-3244 with any general questions or concerns.
Courtesy of Ron Norfleet, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Updated as of June 29th, 2023.