American Banker Article Census Fakers
Safeguard Properties was featured in an American Banker article titled, Census Fakers?
Safeguard Properties Inc., which looks after repossessed real estate across the country for lenders, has been inundated with calls from people claiming to be Census Bureau employees, seeking information on vacant homes.
In a matter of days the Valley View, Ohio, company has received 2,500 such calls, said Robert Klein, its founder and chairman.
Using the emergency 800 number that is advertised on the stickers Safeguard places on vacant homes, the callers have been asking for the mortgage company’s name, the date the property became vacant and who lived there previously, Klein said.
Wanting to comply with the Census Bureau, but uneasy about sharing private information, Klein and his executive team created a separate 800 line to which callers claiming to be Census employees are referred. A recorded message prompts them to send Safeguard an official request for information.
There are “all kinds of frauds and schemes,” Klein said. “We cannot just give that information to anybody that calls.”
Two other property management companies contacted by American Banker said they’ve received few, if any, calls from people claiming to be Census employees.
Klein, who founded Safeguard in 1990, doesn’t remember receiving Census-related calls before this year. But he said he takes the matter seriously. The Census is conducted every 10 years to help determine how federal funding is allocated to communities. “There are critical areas in the country that are relying on the Census,” Klein said.
Safeguard Properties is the largest privately held field services company in the country. Located in Cleveland, Ohio and founded in 1990 by Robert Klein, Safeguard has grown from a regional preservation company with a few employees and a handful of contractors performing services in the Midwest, to a national company with over 700 employees. Safeguard is supported by a nationwide network of subcontractors able to perform any requested superintendence, preservation, and maintenance functions, as well as numerous ancillary services in the U.S., the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.