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Mortgage fraud

It involves professionals like accountants, solicitors, or surveyors who indulge in harmful work like overvaluing properties, overstating the organisation's income, or hijacking the conveyancing procedure. It involves taking out mortgages in the name of either a dead person or suffering from identity theft. 

The criminals who serve as solicitors or insurers may try to get their mortgage applications sanctioned in the name of the unsuspecting victim. 

They even manipulate the Land Registry data to get mortgages from different lenders and indulge in changing title deeds without the owner's knowledge that can allow the sale of the property. 

Owners who suspect any such a sale should alert the Land Registry and speak to trained staff to seek guidance against such activities. 

It is not a victimless crime as the intermediaries and borrowers understand the consequences of committing such acts, making false disclosures. If any fraud is detected, the lender may report it to the authorities to prevent future attempts. 

The most common type of frauds 

Lenders get false income that manipulates the applicant's genuine source of income. In addition, the borrowers give false primary or secondary employment details to get the loans. 

Also, the customer may indulge in non-disclosure of adverse credit, which affects their ability to borrow. In certain other cases, either they do not have any deposit or the funds used for it cannot be sustained. 

Property appraisal fraud happens when the report shows higher prices. Then, one adds charges related to fake renovations or other modifications to increase the price and ultimately, the debt burden goes on the buyers.

In the case of property hijacks, criminals hijack vacant or property available for rent and seek funds. They take over the identity of the genuine owner to get lendings and then disappear.  

If the banks identify any such bogus activities, they will decline the request and report to authorities against the applicant to impact their ability to obtain financial services in future.  

They have been improving the technology support system to develop the front end control. It supports the management and helps deliver oversight of the third party professional during the process of approval of requests. 

The lenders and the intermediaries need to collaborate and manage such risks. 

How To Protect Yourself?

  • Get reliable referrals for funds through trusted partners. 

  • Avoid buying under pressure. Do not apply for a loan using bogus documents. Instead, consult experts to review the documents. 

  • Also, you should always get a credit report and examine its details carefully.

  • If you are applying for a loan, check the credentials to make a good judgement.

  • If you face any fraud like situation, report it to the regulatory authorities and the financial institutions.

Date Published: Jan 28, 2022

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.
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