Fight Fraud, Protect Property Records

Bartow, Fla. (July 10, 2017) – Polk County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller Stacy Butterfield urges residents to protect their property records and avoid scams before they happen with Property Alert Service.

With a new scam seeming to appear each week, residents can never be overly cautious when it comes to protecting their identity. Identity theft is an issue that continues to plague millions of Americans every year. Among those impacted are victims of property fraud, a form of identity theft, which occurs when fake records are filed to steal people’s property.

Property Alert is a free online service offered by the Clerk of Courts, which emails registered users any time an official record—such as a deed, mortgage, or lien—is recorded with their name or parcel ID number.

Residents can register their own name as well as business and family members’ names. While this service cannot prevent fraud, it helps alert users to fraudulent filing at an early stage and provides valuable time to track down and stop criminals.

“In this day and age, fraud seems to be unavoidable—whether it is a skimmer at a gas pump, or a crook filing a fake record to steal someone else’s property. All property owners should be wary of property fraud, and monitoring your records is crucial to protecting yourself,” said Clerk Butterfield, “I urge all residents to take advantage of this free service. The registration process is simple and will help alert you to potential fraud if fraudulent activity occurs.”

If a customer has reason to suspect that a record was recorded fraudulently, they can contact law enforcement to investigate the matter, and/or seek advice from an attorney.

Sign up for the service by visiting www.polkcountyclerk.net.

All Clerk services such as traffic ticket payments and access to court records through Polk Records Online are available online 24/7. Contact the Polk County Clerk of Courts office at 863-534-4000 or visit the Clerk’s office online at the web address above. Like the Polk County Clerk Facebook page for updates, announcements, and scam alerts.