9:58 AM, 12th May 2023, About 10 months ago 1
Landlords are among those most at risk of fraud, according to a new report.
A report by Thirdfort has identified the top eight types of property most at risk from property fraud.
Data from the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System (CIFAS) reveals identity fraud remains a key threat and the number of cases recorded has grown by 22% to 226,000 in 2021.
Absent landlords and rented property are two of the property types most at risk from fraud.
The report says: “Absent landlords make it easier for fraudsters to obtain the post and impersonate the landlords without their knowledge.
“For a rented property a tenant may be able to impersonate the owner. They have access to the property and can obtain identification at the address.”
The other types of property most at risk from fraud include mortgage-free properties, deceased property owners and residents in a care home or hospital.
The report says that many fraudsters are now using fake ID documents.
“Fraud and fake ID documents are on the rise. Criminals will stop at nothing to bypass controls and use many methods to engage in fraud.
“These include obtaining fake IDs, changing their name to a property owner’s name, and illegally obtaining genuine documents to open a bank account.”
Harriet Holmes, AML services manager at Thirdfort, said: “While individual lawyers and agents can be seen as a firm’s biggest risk, they are also the best line of defence.
“Property firms should regularly update staff training on the risks around identifying fraud and the red flags of which they should be aware.
“It is also worth becoming familiar with government guidance on how to examine ID documents.”
The report lists some key red flags property professionals should look for when it comes to forgeries. These include:
A full list of those most at risk from property fraud can be found here
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