TRENTON, NJ --- Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello has urged residents to register for the County Clerk's Property Alert Service that provides property owners with important alerts concerning their properties. The free Property Alert Service alerts Mercer County property owners when a document affecting a specific property is recorded by the Mercer County Clerk’s Office and an unauthorized action is taken on the property.

“It’s as simple as registering your name or business name and your email address and you will be automatically notified if a document is recorded with your name,” said Sollami Covello.

Property Alert Service does not prevent fraudulent activity from occurring; however it helps monitor activity and transactions on properties.

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Implemented in 2016, the services has been praised by many officials in Mercer County, including Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, who called it an “important service that can be accessed by our homeowners."

"This is an added security measure for homeowners to ensure title to their property remains unencumbered. An unscrupulous person who rents out another's property to a third-party can cause legal headaches and costly repairs to the actual owner," said Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora.

Property is one of the most valuable assets people can own. Property fraud can be committed by anyone attempting to convince lenders, solicitors or other officials that they own property when in reality they do not. Typically, this fraud is committed by forging documents or using identity theft to obtain them.

For example, in Trenton and other municipalities across Mercer County, fraudsters have been using vacant bank-owned and privately owned residential properties to mislead tenants, often posing as the property owner or as an agent to extract cash from them. They have been known to move into vacant or bank-owned properties for free housing.

Anyone who suspects fraudulent activity should contact law-enforcement authorities. The County Clerk's Office offers a hotline number -- (609) 989-6470 -- for residents to call if they feel they have been victimized by property fraud. That number is 609-989-6470.

Residents can sign up for the alert system by going to http://propertyalert.mercercounty.org/PropertyAlert and registering.

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