A disturbing trend has emerged in home buying in Indiana and all over the country: scam artists tricking people into illegitimate home sales by using authentications from the Secretary of State to create the illusion that they own vacant property.
The scammers call themselves “sovereign citizens.” They refuse to follow the law, do not accept the American government as legitimate, and are recognized by the government as domestic terrorists.
They use apostilles and authentications that are meant to be used solely for international business or other transactions that have absolutely nothing to do with property. Many people are not even aware that they have been targeted until they try to buy and sell property, at which point they have already fallen victim to the scheme.
Although previously the Secretary of State did not have the authority to reject financing statements or liens, it is now able to reject fraudulent filings. This new power will protect home buyers, civic leaders, and members of law enforcement from being conned by criminals.