GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - A former FBI agent is warning people about “home title fraud” - a form of house-stealing that can leave people broke and literally homeless.

Here’s how it works. A cyber thief, or even someone you know, steals your identity and transfers your home’s title to his or her name. Once a crook has control of your title, they can transfer your home into their name, take out a loan and stick you with the payments, sell your home and even have you evicted.

Or perhaps a relative or caretaker fraudulently changes a title to inherit a home willed to someone else.

There are things people can do to prevent these crimes in the first place. Retired FBI agent Art Pfizenmayer worked these types of crimes in the Bureau for over 25 years, and he now works as a consultant for Home Title Lock.