Last Updated: September 1st, 2022
Your house is undoubtedly one of the most valuable assets you own, so what can you do to ensure you keep the fraudsters away?
Unfortunately, property fraud is on the rise and due to the variety of fraud methods nowadays, anyone can fall victim to these scams. Anyone who is a homeowner or is in the process of buying a property can be a target for scammers. Generally, you are more vulnerable if you are the sole owner if your property is rented or not mortgaged, as well as if your identity has been stolen.
Typically, criminals can impersonate anyone involved in a property transaction, from the buyer to the conveyancer helping with the purchase.
To make sure you don’t fall victim to property fraud and to avoid any risks, we’ve put together some handy tips on how you can best protect yourself and your house from fraud:
If you’re about to own a new property, you should make sure it is registered with the HM Land Registry. Alternatively, if you already own a house, you can check that the personal information submitted on the register is correct, especially your home address and your contact details.
If you think you are in danger of being defrauded, you can sign up for the Land Registry Property Alert monitoring service. Using this free service, you can monitor up to ten properties and receive email notifications when suspicious activity occurs on your property so you can take swift action if needed.
An anti-fraud restriction against your property means that the Land Registry will be notified and they won’t register any sale or mortgage on the property unless a conveyancer is there to verify its authenticity of it. In other words, a solicitor will authenticate the origin of the sale and will certify whether it was made by the current owner.
For just £40 per property, the anti-fraud restriction can be a mindful step you can take to ensure your property is kept safe and away from any fraudulent activities.
As part of a more sophisticated scam, the fraudsters can hack into your emails and gain access to the email records between you and your conveyancing solicitor. Once they get full access to your emails, they can change the bank details and ensure the funds land in their account instead.
During any transaction, it’s recommended to communicate sensitive information, such as bank details, via telephone or face-to-face. In the event that is not possible, you should not use public Wi-Fi as that can be more easily hacked into, as well as double-check that the bank details you were given are correct.
To ensure you make a wise investment, it is indicated to seek professional advice from experienced property solicitors. By acting for the buyer in the conveyance of a registered freehold/leasehold property, our buying property solicitors will:
In addition, our specialists will make you aware of any property investment scams and they will work with you to best protect your interests. You should also do your due diligence regarding the house you’re interested in buying, as well as find more information about the property title deeds before you commit to an investment.
With 5 partners and over 90 staff, based in our Stockport offices, Gorvins Residential specialist legal teams work with private individuals and companies from all walks of life buying, selling, transferring or re-mortgaging their properties.
Through a very stressful process buying a first home, Gorvins were confident and collected. Able to deliver what they promised and kept me updated through the stages. I was glad to have No Stress experience with our conveyancer in amongst the chaos of the rest of it.
Used as recommended by my mortgage advisor for a remortgage. My case was dealt with by Natasha Sands and she made it complete smoothly and to my satisfaction. Communication was great and all my questions answered promptly. Will not hesitate to use again next time.
Fantastic service and for a fair price, special thanks to Joseph Hirst who dealt with my account from start to finish and was always on hand to deal with any queries I had, always got back to me in good time and made the whole process as stress free as possible.
Go with Gorvins, if you want peace of mind!
I recently instructed Gorvins to act on my behalf in the purchase of 5 apartments in Liverpool. I am happy to report that I was more than pleased with their performance.The services provided by the person in charge of the file at Gorvins was most professional, reliable and efficient. In fact she went out of her way to help in aspects which was not her responsibility and as a result the deal went through smoothly.
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