Imagine your family has owned a home for decades when suddenly you get an eviction notice. This is an example of deed theft or fraud. And it can happen to anyone.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is tackling this head on in what she calls an increasingly pervasive and growing challenge. She joined News All Day with more on how this can happen and how homeowners can fight back.

Katz says that scammers often get the deed from the homeowner using fake paperwork like death certificates or licenses. Also, if a home is not kept up, scammers see no one is paying attention to a property.

Katz created the Bureau of Housing and Worker Protection to help people who are defrauded.

To protect yourself, she recommends signing up with ACRIS at It’s a city site that allows you to view property records and documents. You can file to get an alert about the property that you own.

Katz also recommends watching for any bills that are either not paid or associated with your house, that you’re mowing the lawn, and painting your property so it’s clear someone is paying attention to the house.