Josef Wolcott, being a seasoned employee with a keen eye for detail, has seen his fair share of transactions, but the contract for the sale of vacant land in Lehigh Acres, Florida, that landed on his desk felt different from the start.

The seller had represented himself as the owner of the property.  However, something about the seller’s presentation triggered a cautious instinct in Joe. He quickly sent out the necessary forms for completion, along with a request for supporting documents: a copy of the seller’s passport, the original recorded deed, and closing statements from the previous purchase.

 When the forms came back, the supporting documents were conspicuously absent. To further verify the identity, Joe suggested using Intellicheck, an identity verification tool that The Title Link employs. The seller claimed he couldn’t provide the additional documents or conduct the Intellicheck search due to his outdated “flip phone” and lack of access to a computer or camera. This raised Joe’s first red flag. In today’s digital age, it was uncommon for someone handling property transactions to be so technologically disconnected, but it has happened.

 Curious and concerned, Joe decided to investigate further. He performed an internet search on the seller’s name and mailing address. This revealed that the true owner operated a transport and logistics company in Germany—a business where technology would be essential.

 The mounting inconsistencies prompted Joe to take an extra step: a reverse image search on the passport photo which had been submitted. What he found was startling. The image belonged to a renowned German award-winning scientist and professor, not the supposed seller of a vacant lot in Florida. This confirmed Joe’s suspicions and solidified the evidence of fraud.

 Joe’s heart raced as the pieces fell into place. This was a fraudulent seller attempting to dupe all parties and abscond with the sale proceeds. He promptly notified the Realtors involved in the transaction, ensuring they were aware of the scam. He also contacted Old Republic’s underwriting department, alerting them to the fraudulent attempt so that they could flag any similar transactions that might arise in the future.

 As Joe leaned back in his chair, he felt a sense of satisfaction. He knew the importance of vigilance in his line of work and the necessity of working with a title company that meticulously verifies identities. His diligence protected both his company and an unsuspecting property owner from a potentially disastrous fraud.

 In the end, it was just another day at Title Link, but for Joe Wolcott, it was a reminder of why his job mattered. It was his attention to detail and unwavering commitment to due diligence that ensured the integrity of every transaction he handled, making him an invaluable asset to his company and clients alike.