Prevent, Detect, and Report Real Estate Fraud
The Real Estate Advisory Team (REFAT) is a unique collaboration between the Ventura County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit and Ventura County real estate professionals. The combined knowledge and expertise of these volunteer team members help identify the types of frauds taking place and keep on top of the ever changing tactics of scammers who seek to take advantage of Ventura County residents.
REFAT’s mission is to prevent, detect and report real estate fraud. We strive to accomplish this through educating two groups; real estate professionals and the general public. Our industry outreach to agents, lenders, escrow companies, title companies, etc. is essential as these professionals directly participate in most real estate transactions and are the “front line of defense” since they are in an ideal position to detect warning signs and take action to prevent fraud. Our public outreach efforts are aimed at educating the public and to provide them tools and resources to detect warning signs of real estate fraud so they can avoid becoming a victim. REFAT also provides information on how to report incidents where you know or suspect that you or someone else has been defrauded.
The Ventura County District Attorney's Real Estate Fraud Unit investigates and prosecutes crimes involving recorded real estate documents. Criminal real estate fraud may involve home equity fraud, securities fraud tied to real estate, and loan fraud.
Victims of criminal real estate fraud and predatory lending schemes are often senior citizens and people with limited English speaking abilities. Real estate fraud strikes at the heart of the American dream, where a sophisticated criminal can victimize dozens of people by stealing their life savings and their home.
Persons who believe they may be victims of real estate fraud are encouraged to fill out and return a Real Estate Fraud Complaint Form for our review.