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  • Writer's pictureWINK

Realtor stops thief trying to steal and sell land

Imagine someone pretending to be you and selling your home or land right from underneath you. Deed or property fraud happens more often than you think.

Sharon Neuhofer is used to helping people buy and sell their property. She’s a realtor at Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty. A recent call from someone wanting to sell their empty lot in Punta Gorda Isles raised a red flag.

“I started digging a little further and asked him for some driver’s licenses and email addresses to verify that he’s actually the owner because I don’t know this gentleman,” Neuhofer remembered.

Normally when Neuhofer asks for driver’s licenses, the fraudsters disappear. But she said this one sent her copies within hours. Still, those alarm bells kept ringing in her head.

“When I researched it a little further, I found out he’s not actually the owner,” she said. “I tracked down the real owner and I called him and I asked him ‘Do you want me to sell your lot in Punta Gorda Isles?’ And he said, ‘No.’ He had no idea what I was talking about. I ruined his day.”

Neuhofer filed a police report. She learned the license the person provided was real, but the picture on it was not.


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