Fraud Prevention Initiatives

Pilot Program: Guardianship Fraud Prevention

The Chester County Recorders of Deed’s Office and the Chester County Register of Wills and Orphan’s Court have coordinated efforts to launch a new pilot program designed to protect our incapacitated seniors and disabled residents from any fraudulent transfer of their property. This allows both departments to track and compare county guardianship orders with proposed deeds to ensure an incapacitated person’s property is not transferred illegally. Data obtained from this pilot program will help quantify elder abuse in Chester County and be shared with all relevant agencies to help protect our most vulnerable residents from future fraud.

Seniors in Pennsylvania are the victims of approximately $1.2 billion worth of elder fraud each year, according to recent studies. The scams come in many forms, ranging from telemarketing cons to outright theft of home equity and personal property. The scammers can include total strangers, family members, trusted care givers, legal guardians and more. One particularly egregious type of crime targeting seniors and incapacitated homeowners involves the fraudulent transfer of their property without the informed consent of the property owner, their legal guardian or the court system that is empowered to protect them.

​Operation Fraud Guard

Fraud Guard is a simple way to help prevent property fraud in which users can register their name to receive an email notification when a document is recorded with such name.

As part of the Chester County Recorder of Deeds’ Anti-Fraud Initiative, the Recorder of Deeds Office is reviewing potential scenarios of real estate fraud and the statutes governing the ROD’s recording guidelines. Our office has observed that certain real estate transactions have been used to take advantage of homeowners of certain demographics. In an effort to be proactive, the ROD will attempt to review certain documents deemed indicative of potential real estate fraud and will attempt to notify landholders of transactions against their property, as set forth in the policy.