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Registry of Deeds fights ID theft with new software


July 08, 2010
OSSIPEE — Carroll County's Register of Deeds is using new software designed to protect property owners from identity thieves.

County Register Ann Aiton told County Commissioners about a Fidlar Technologies' Property Fraud Alert (PFA) system during a meeting on Wednesday, June 30. The PFA is designed to notify property owners when there is recording activity pertaining to their property at the Registry of Deeds.

"What's happening throughout the country, and more specifically in certain states, is people are going in and mortgaging other people's property and selling other people's property," said Aiton. "Some people do not know this until something awful has happened."

Property owners must sign up with the company to participate. The service is free. Alerts are delivered by phone or e-mail.

"The alert notification will contain the following information: County location; document number, document type, recorded date, and the matched party name (personal or business name)," according to Fidlar's Web site Propertyfraudalert.com.

Information in the alert would be of little value to criminals who might be tempted to take out a PFA account in someone else's name, said Aiton.

This service would be particularly useful in Carroll County because many residents are "snow birds" — people who depart for warmer climates in the winter and come back to the county in the summer. Seniors may also be more likely to be victims and Carroll County has a large elderly population, she said

"I can see a very clear scenario where people go south for the winter and come back and find their property has been foreclosed," said Aiton.

The company gets its information directly from the Registry of Deeds on a daily basis. She explained that Connor and Connor Inc, the county's long time technology company, is offering this service for free through its parent company, Fidlar Technologies. Connor and Connor Inc. is based in Exeter.

Most if not all New Hampshire counties are participating, but mortgage related identify theft is a much larger problem in other states like California, Texas, and New Jersey.

Connor and Connor Inc. has assisted Carroll County's Registry of Deeds for many years, said Aiton. During that period, they have been reliable, she said.

Commission Chairman David Sorensen supported Aiton's decision to use the software — calling it a "good thing."

People can sign up by calling Property Fraud Alert customer support at 1-800-728-3858 or by visiting www.connorandconnorinc.com or propertyfraudalert.com.

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