John Bacchione, who is running for mayor of Berkeley in Ocean County, has a warning for would-be fraudsters.

Not so fast in Ocean County! John alerted me to a program from the Ocean County Clerk's office that alerts homeowners if any document is recorded in their name. You'd think that this would be completely unnecessary but we live in interesting times and thieves have gotten more creative and aggressive.

The clerk's office rolled out a free service to help you protect your rights and property. The Property Alert Service allows homeowners in Ocean to sign up for alerts if anyone recorded any documents in your name. Similar to a credit card alert to let you know if your card was used without being presented, this alert keeps you informed.

Mortgage fraud is on the rise in the U.S. and it's critical to stay ahead of the bad guys. Instead of playing the guessing game or just hoping that you won't be impacted, it's free to register with the county and be informed.

If you get an alert that someone has recorded a document related to your property, the next step is to contact law enforcement and your attorney.

It's easy to register,, and it's better to be safe than sorry!

Listen to my conversation with John here:

MORE: Union County homeowners can get free fraud alerts

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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Up or down? Average property tax changes in NJ in 2022

Below are the average property tax bills for every municipality in New Jersey last year.

The towns are listed from the biggest cut in the average bill to the highest increase. On the county maps, the deeper red color means a higher increase above 2% whereas the darker green signifies a smaller increase or a reduction.

Each listing also shows how the average tax bill is split among the county, school and municipal governments.

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