Area man almost loses house to deed scam; Fraud on the rise during pandemic

MIAMI COUNTY — Fraud is on the rise, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC said last year consumers lost nearly $6 billion to fraud, which is a 70 percent increase from 2020.

During the pandemic, con artists sold fake health products and stole data fo file for unemployment using the victim’s name.

The top form of fraud last year was “imposter scams” the FTC said, the average victim lost $1,000.

Shopping scams were the second-highest form of fraud with about $392 million in consumer loss.

Fake prizes and lotteries, online services and job opportunities were the other main forms of fraud according to the FTC.

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A Miami Valley man unfortunately was almost the victim of a scam targeted at homeowners.

Walter Dolinski listed his home online to rent before he was going to sell it.

Dolinski said someone saw the listing, knew the house was vacant and tried to rent the house themselves and transfer Dolinski’s deed to their name.

This is known as Quitclaim Deed Fraud.

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Dolinski’s relator was made aware of the fraud and was able to call the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and prevent him from losing his home.

“You don’t know until all of a sudden you got a bunch of past-due notices, your credit is getting destroyed and then you’re losing your house because they’re coming to foreclose on the house. And you did nothing wrong, you’ve just been working and paying your bills the way you should be,” Dolinski said.

His realtor said that this type of fraud can happen to anyone.