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Our mission is to prevent, detect and report real estate fraud. With your help, we can reduce the impact of this destructive fraud that threatens the American dream of home ownership.

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Prevent Real Estate Fraud and Equity Scams | Ventura County’s REFAT

Forgery Deed Transfer

Imposter will use high pressure tactics or threats to frighten the senior into transferring. They will forge the homeowner’s signature and have the document falsely notarized. The criminal will appear to own the property. That person could put it up for sale or use it as collateral to take out a loan. Do not allow yourself to be rushed into signing a quitclaim deed. Discuss the matter with others—such as relatives, friends or caregivers.

Rental Fraud

As you begin searching for a new apartment or home, Rental fraud happens when tenants are tricked into paying an upfront fee. You’re asked to send money via Western Union or Moneygram.The owner is out of town and can’t show you the property in person or Is the monthly rental rate too good to turn down? These are possible signs of rental listing scams. Victims lose their deposit and is not able to rent the property they thought they had secured with the payment. Do not send money to anyone advertising online and do not pay any money until you or a reliable contact has visited the property with an agent or landlord.

Refinance Scam

If you’re a current homeowner who’s hoping to refinance your mortgage, scammers might be targeting you. If you’re interested in refinancing or modifying your loan, contact your lender first. Your lender might work with you on negotiating repayment terms.

Equity Purchase & Foreclosure Scam

A person who calls himself a buyer stops at your door and convinces you to sell your property to him for less than market value and promises to pay off your mortgage. Unfortunately, the buyer will make no effort to pay the mortgage payments, allowing the lender to foreclose on your property will result you losing your home and damaging your credit.

Rentback to Own Scam

Rent back to own tends to attract inexperienced, distressed homeowners. Because of this, there are many rent to own scam artists out there hoping to lure naive distressed homeowners into their trap. They first tell you to surrender the title to your house as part of a deal that allows you to stay there as a renter and buy it back later. They say that surrendering the title will let a borrower with a better credit rating get new financing and prevent the loss of the home through foreclosure. In most occasions buying back your home becomes impossible for many reasons. The scam artist raises the rent over time so you can’t afford it.

Fraudulent Listings

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Don't be Their Next Victim

If you believe that you have become the victim of real estate fraud, please contact REFAT. Our mission is to prevent, detect and report real estate fraud here in Ventura County. For more information visit