Palo Pinto County residents will now have access to a free subscription service to help protect against property fraud.
The service will allow the public to monitor their name and property within the Palo Pinto County Clerk's office in order to detect possible fraudulent activity.
"It costs the county, but it's out of money that we take when people file documents so it's not out of budget and the cost annually is $1,950," Palo Pinto County Clerk Janette Green said during a discussion at an April commissioners court meeting. "We do probably 7,000 to 10,000 documents a year and so we have enough money."
Subscribers will be notified when the name they have registered is used in any recording activities within the county clerk’s office. When subscribing to the service (which can be accomplished online or with a phone call), the subscriber will have the option to choose notification via email or telephone call.
"We've got a lot of small counties around the state that have signed up for the program. It's real easy for the public to sign up, all we ask is you put in your first and last name," Data Preservation Solutions Preservation and Conversion Specialist Lance Gonzales said at the April meeting. "If you're a business owner you can sign up for it as well."
A three-year contract for the Property Fraud Alert program was unanimously approved by the Palo Pinto County commissioners at the April 26 meeting.
Just some of the counties utilizing Property Fraud Alert are Tarrant, Collin, Ellis, Fannin, Bell, Galveston and Williamson.
Palo Pinto County Clerk Janette Green said protecting consumer information, real estate property and business property are top priorities for her office. According to the FBI, “The threat of mortgage fraud and identity theft crimes continue to rise, and all too often victims of these types of fraudulent activities are unaware their homes, business or identity have been stolen.”
While Property Fraud Alert does not prevent fraud from happening, it provides an early warning system for property owners to take appropriate actions should they determine possible fraudulent activity has taken place.
"People want to get equity off your homes and property, and it's real easy for people to do these days," Gonzales said. "So this is an added protection for the public."
Alerts can be received via email, text message and/or phone call.
Property Fraud Alert is now available by subscription online at pfa.fidlar.com/TXPaloPinto, by clicking the link on the county clerk’s website at www.co.palo-pinto.tx.us/page/palopinto.County.Clerk or by calling 1-844-746-9164.