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updated: 5/14/2013 7:27 AM

Indiana secretary of state warns of real estate scam

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Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson is warning potential home buyers about a new scam. Lawson says scammers are using authentications from her office to create the illusion they own vacant property and trick Indiana residents into fraudulent real estate deals.

Lawson says the scammers identify abandoned homes and create documents claiming they own the property. They then have a notary sign the document and take the signed document to the secretary of state's office for a gold seal to certify the notary's signature was authentic. The document is then filed with county recorders offices, and the scammers show it to their victims there as proof they own the property.

Lawson says most of the cases target Hispanics with language barriers.

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