The ultimate identity theft: house stealing

FBI issues an unusual warning

Not quite worried enough that identity thieves might empty your bank account or ruin your credit rating with a shopping spree in your name?

(2010's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

The FBI says those concerns are small spuds compared to what might happen when crooks parlay identity theft and mortgage fraud into "a totally new kind of crime: house stealing."

According to the FBI:

... The con artists start by picking out a house to steal - say, YOURS.

... Next, they assume your identity - getting a hold of your name and personal information (easy enough to do off the Internet) and using that to create fake IDs, social security cards, etc.

... Then, they go to an office supply store and purchase forms that transfer property.

... After forging your signature and using the fake IDs, they file these deeds with the proper authorities, and lo and behold, your house is now THEIRS.

Sometimes it will be an empty house or vacation home, sometimes the thieves will work their schemes while the homeowner and their families go on about their normal everyday lives, says the FBI.

The Justice Department details one such case in this press release.

Although the FBI says mortgage fraud is "pervasive and growing," the combination of identity theft and mortgage fraud -- this so-called house stealing -- is "not too common at this point."

(No word in the press release about those who might welcome having their houses stolen, given the disparity between what they owe and what the homes are worth. ... Yes, I'm kidding.)

Sleep tight.

Welcome regulars and passersby. Here are a few more recent Buzzblog items. And, if you'd like to receive Buzzblog via e-mail newsletter, here's where to sign up.

This Year's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries.

He called my teen-age daughters slutty. ... Should I hit him?

No PR purge here, says Hannaford security vendor.

Mark Cuban keeps digging ... digging ... digging.

Just using Facebook gets this guy dragged into Wikileaks case.

In defense of Caller-ID spoofing.

Stallman on handing over GNU Emacs, its future and the importance of nomenclature.

Google renames the Persian Gulf.

Get $500 just for going on a job interview. (No, really.)

Top 10 Buzzblog posts for '07: Verizon's there, of course, along with Gates, Wikipedia and the guy who lost a girlfriend to Blackberry's blackout.

8 can't-miss tech predictions ... for 1998

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Related:
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT