Miller County officials warn of property fraud

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Property owners in Miller County, Arkansas are getting some advice in the mail along with this year’s tax notices — a warning about property fraud.

Notices about protecting your property are hitting the mailboxes of over thirty thousand property owners in Miller County.  It’s a warning to keep a close eye on your land and your home.  “They definitely should be concerned,” said Circuit Clerk Mary Pankey.

Pankey said property fraud is as easy as someone forging your signature.  She said many times, it’s never reported and the elderly are a common target.  “An individual dies, somebody’s already got the property in their name, there’s no relatives there, the property’s already in their name,” Pankey said.

The county is looking into a possible case right now.  Someone from California is trying to rent out a property they don’t own in Miller County.  Officials heard about it after the renter started having problems.  Miller County Circuit Clerk Recorder Dwayne Kitzmiller said, “This individual had called to find out who the owner was because they tried to get the electric and water turned on and they were unable to.” 

Officials advise people to sign up for property fraud alerts.  Kitzmiller said think of it like checking your credit.  “They really need to check their property records and public records as well, twice a year, because you never know if anything’s been filed under your name or on your property.” 

Alerts notify you if documents have been filed in your name in Miller County.  The service is free.  You can sign up at propertyfraudalert.com/MillerAR

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