Thieves using identity of dead homeowners in scams
New research has revealed that fraudsters are impersonating homeowners who have recently died, or solicitors, in the hope of stealing money in mortgage transactions.
The number of thieves using the identities of those who are deceased to make mortgage applications to lenders is increasing, Experian said.
More commonly, fraudsters are mimicking solicitors to trick buyers into putting a deposit in to the fraudsters account.
This money, which is usually large sums, is rarely refunded by the banks.
According to the City of London Police fraud investigators, the average loss to this fraud across England and Wales is £112,310.
The type of fraud in which a deposit is tricked out of buyer is more of a threat to those involved in a property purchase.
In property purchases, fraudsters are on the lookout for people who are buying or selling a home. They then intercept emails between those people and their solicitors.
The fraudster then sends an email claiming that the deposit is due and gives bank details for the money to be transferred. It quickly disappears from this account, leaving victims out of pocket.
The trade body for the industry, the Conveyancing Association, has launched a new scheme and guide which aims to reduce property buyers’ exposure to this kind of fraud.
Nick Mothershaw, fraud expert at Experian said:
“Because of the values involved, the impact on people's lives can be devastating.
"Large payments have been diverted and fraudsters have disappeared with the money. We'd urge anyone who has fallen victim to these kinds of scams to contact Action Fraud."
Suggestions from the Conveyancing Association include sending small test payments, or secure communication to allow buyers to cross-check bank account details.
Need financial advice?
If you have any personal finance questions related to this news article, then please contact our financial advisers. You can get in touch by askin a question online, calling us on 0800 092 1245 or arranging a visit.
Bovis concerned about UK housing market
Bovis, one of the UK's leading house builders, has today gone public with a number of concerns regarding the short to medium term future of the UK property market. While the company reported a return to profitability, with £3.5 million surplus for the first six months of 2010, and an increase in both house prices and housing sales, there was much mention of the government's spending cuts and tax...Read More
British Land looking to expand in the future
UK property giant British Land appears set to hit the investment trail with an admission that the company is looking to invest upwards of £2.5 billion into the UK property market. This comes at a time when the company announced its first quarterly increase in assets for some time and a more upbeat statement for the immediate future. However, investment into the UK property sector will not be spre...Read More
Property company Minerva in trouble
It has been revealed that UK property company Minerva has fallen into "negative equity" in a reflection of what is still a very difficult UK property market. The current share price is just over 30p although the net asset value of the company has fallen from a positive 187.7p last year to a rarely seen liability of 28.8p per share as at 30 June. So what does the future hold for Minerva?
Rent rises expected across the UK
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has today confirmed that UK rents are set to increase in the short to medium term as the number of properties coming onto the rental market continues to decline. For the second quarter in a row we have seen a reduction in homes available for rent across the UK as those who were struggling prior to the recent economic upturn, and forced to rent out their p...Read More
House prices continue to rise
09/07/2014 House prices are continuing to increase throughout the country, according to the UK’s largest mortgage lender, the Halifax. When measured on an annual basis, prices had increased by 8.8% in June, in comparison to 8.7% in May, taking the average house price in the UK to £183,462. Additionally, the Nationwide Building Society recently released similar figures that claimed pric...Read More