Housing sales are surging in Arizona! But, unfortunately, not all the sellers know about it...
The Arizona Attorney General's Office says it's received "dozens" of complaints from people who purchased homes -- only to discover the people they bought them from weren't the real owners.
"They are willing to risk committing a fraud, a fraud scheme or forgery in order to make money," says Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "And so, this is something that crooks have been doing for generations, and prosecutors and law enforcement are always trying to stop as far as what is the next scheme, what is the next fraud."
In this particular fraud, scammers have been finding vacant homes that aren't mortgaged, forging warranty deeds for them and selling them to unsuspecting out-of-state buyers, Brnovich says.
And the losses can go beyond financial considerations, he adds.
"We heard a story where there was an elderly parent that lived in the home that had passed away, and before one of the siblings could clear the property out, the thieves had done this, and they basically took photo albums, all these lifetime of memories, and dumped them somewhere,” he says.