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Denver & Boulder, Colorado
Denver Man Charged With Theft & Forgery in Real Estate Scam
December 06, 2011

Denver, CO – December 6, 2011 – The prevalence of foreclosures in recent years has caused a surge in scams, many of which involve criminals fraudulently acting as homeowners. The Denver District Attorney’s office is warning of such scams after charging a man with multiple counts of forgery and theft.

The DA’s office alleges that Alfonso Carrillo operated a homebuyer and rental scam under the business name, Home Retention Services that targeted Spanish-speaking victims. According to the DA’s fraud alert, Carrillo is accused of filing phony deeds on houses vacated through foreclosure, then gaining access and posing as the owner.

The alert also states that an arrest warrant has also been issued for a second man, Rudy Breda, who is accused of recording phony deeds with the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

“Being on guard against imposter homeowners has become a new reality for renters and buyers of homes in this economy,” said Dale Mingilton, president and CEO of the BBB Serving Denver/Boulder. “When the vulnerable are targeted such as the young, elderly or Spanish-speaking, it is especially disturbing.”

Such scams have become so common, local businesses have developed services to help renters and buyers check out and verify landlords. Research real estate services at www.denver.bbb.org.

The Denver DA’s office and the Better Business Bureau offer the following tips for avoiding real estate/rental/landlord fraud:

· Never take a person’s word that they own a home, or that they are a reputable real estate agent or broker.

· Always check with a title company to be certain the ‘owner’ you are dealing with holds the actual deed. Check the status of a real estate agent at www.dora.state.co.us/library/databases3.htm

· Never record a deed, if asked. It is a crime for a person to record a deed if the deed is legally held by someone else. Only the property owner can sell or rent their property.

· Beware of deals that sound too good to be true. Scammers will often list a rental for a very low price to lure victims.

· Never wire transfer a deposit. Money sent via wire transfer service is extremely difficult to track and retrieve.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office is advising anyone who believes they may be the victim of this type of scam to contact them and ask for Investigator Daniel Chun.

The Denver DA’s Fraud Line is: 720-913-9179.

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