A growing problem in Southwest Florida’s hot real estate market is thieves stepping up to steal and sell land that doesn’t belong to them.

It almost happened to Realtor Peter Davis.

“We were doing everything at that point by an email,” Davis said.

It’s a recipe for property fraud. One person claiming to be a foreign landowner, a couple of phone calls, many emails, and thousands of dollars up for grabs.

“I sent him a listing agreement with my recommended price, which was $169,000. And he signed the listing agreement said that he thought the price was fine,” Davis said.

Davis said it seemed like any other listing at first.

“He said that he found me on Zillow,” Davis said, adding that wasn’t unusual.

Davis went about his job and advertised the property for sale.

“A couple from Miami called me and had seen it online…

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