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Feds warn of real estate fraud scheme

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Realtor Magazine, a publication of the National Association of Realtors on Thursday reported on a fraud scheme in which individuals have attempted to purchase real estate and vehicles using bogus documents. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General has "been made aware of incidents in Arizona and Colorado where ... fraudulent documents were used to attempt to purchase homes and an office building." "If a buyer tries to use a 'personal promissory note' or 'private offset bond' to buy a home, the matter might be an attempt at fraud and you should let the U.S. Treasury Department know," according to the Realtor Magazine report. The fraudulent documents reportedly have the name of U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on them, though a savings bond is the only hard-copy bond issued by Treasury that a citizen can purchase. The Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General maintains a hot line at (800) 359-3898 and an e-mail at hotline@oig...