With fake ownership papers in hand, S. Fla. scammers hired a Realtor to list their bargain-priced vacant land, apparently hoping to steal a buyer’s deposit or cash at closing.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – In an unusual new scam, criminals apparently forged ownership deeds for currently vacant land, contacted a Realtor, and listed it for sale in the MLS.

According to Dianne Regalado Kammerer, director of sales with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Coral Gables, the forged ownership papers were not high quality but they did the trick in at least two cases she discovered.

While the “not high quality” ownership docs could be a red flag to listing agents going forward, though, even high-quality ownership docs could become common if some professional scammers see the ruse as a viable way to steal money.

“The scam involves an imposter owner/seller reaching out to the agent via email and text asking to list their lot as soon as possible and for a very reasonable if not below market price,” Kamme...