Chesco launches new anti real estate fraud program


Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan (left) and Chester County Recorder of Deeds Rick Loughery (center) reviewing a real estate transaction with Deputy Recorder of Deeds Ruth Huganir (right).

WEST CHESTER — Chester County Recorder of Deeds Rick Loughery is introducing a new service to his office called Operation Fraud Guard.   Operation Fraud Guard initiates an enhanced review of real estate transactions to protect the elderly and disabled persons from property fraud.

“Certain real estate transactions are red flags for possible abuse,” said Loughery. “As part of this anti-fraud initiative, we are being proactive and reviewing some documents, specifically transfers of title using a power of attorney. If something appears suspicious, my office will notify landholders and law enforcement of the transactions.

“For example, if an elderly man’s property title is transferred to another person through a power of attorney, the Recorder of Deeds office would immediately notify the gentleman of this change in title.  If the elderly gentleman responds with concerns about the change to his property title, the Recorder and his staff will assist the man in contacting the District Attorney and local law enforcement. Thus, a fraudulent land transfer involving an elderly citizen can be detected and prevented.”

This decision to proactively review certain documents has been researched and discussed with Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan and Chester County Commissioners’ Chair and former Recorder of Deeds Terence Farrell.

“This added protection is yet another service that helps to ensure the safety of Chester County citizens, especially our elderly and disabled,” Hogan said. “There is no charge to the public for this increased protection. And if fraud is suspected, our office will work with other local law enforcement officials to ensure the matter is thoroughly investigated.”

“These new measures will serve to enhance security and help prevent fraud against homeowners in Chester County,” said Farrell, who was responsible for implementing the Uniform Parcel Identification (UPI) system during his tenure as Recorder of Deeds.  “The Recorder of Deeds is the first-line of defense against real estate fraud.  As technology advances, it is important that we continue to build up our preventative measures to protect our citizens and their homes.”

This extra measure of protection enhances the Fraud Guard online alert service which has been available through the Chester County Recorder of Deeds Office since 2012. The Fraud Guard online alert service allows a Chester County property owner to opt-in to receive email alerts when any document with his or her name has been recorded with the Recorder of Deeds. To register with the Chester County Recorder of Deed’s Fraud Guard online alert service go to, or call 610-344-6330.

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