Hundreds of Texas landowners may be forced to battle in court to get their own properties back after investigators announced the landowners may have been victims of a massive fraud.
Authorities believe one or more people executed fraudulent sales of the properties in question by forging sales documents and submitting fake buyers, WFAA-TV reported.
By the time the real land owners were made aware of the transactions, they had already been stripped of their rights to their properties land and of the minerals within them.
Victim Hector Macias said in his case it all happened within hours.
"All you need is a notary and a fake signature and they can take your property," Macias told WFAA, but getting the lawful title back could take several months and thousands of dollars.
The FBI, U.S. Postal Service and the Tarrant County District Attorney's office were all investigating the scam.