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Beware! Mortgage Fraud on the rise

Mortgage-related fraud has increased by 32.8 per cent in the past year, it’s been claimed.

Apex Bridging has analysed the number of fraud and computer misuse offences in England & Wales recorded by Action Fraud or referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau between April 2022 and March 2023, and looked at how these numbers compare to the 12 months previous.

The data reveals that there was an overall total of 1.1 million cases of fraud between April 2022 and March 2023, a number which is 15.3 per cent higher than the previous 12 months.


The data also shows that property-related fraud has been a central contributor to this concerning increase. 

Property fraud refers to any kind of fraudulent activity that focuses on property assets or the professional processes of the property industry. There are a number of common types of property fraud. 

One example is identity theft and impersonation in which a criminal will steal a person’s identity, often through the use of fake or stolen ID, and then use that false identity to sell, mortgage, or remortgage someone else’s property before running off with the large sums of cash they receive as a result. Stolen identity can also result in the title deeds of a property being changed, essentially enabling a criminal to put the property in their own name or that of a co-conspirator. 

Mortgage fraud is another common type of property fraud in which criminals seek to steal money from a financial institution or private lender through the mortgage process.

In the past year, mortgage fraud in England & Wales has increased by 32.8 per cent, the second-highest increase of all banking and credit industry fraud. 

People are most vulnerable to property fraud if they are landlords, live overseas, keep their property empty, have unmortgaged property, or don’t have their property registered on His Majesty's Land Registry.

To protect against falling victim to property fraud, it’s vital to register title deeds with HMLR, and also important to avoid email hacking by using strong passwords when sensitive personal data is at stake and being cautious when using public or unfamiliar Wifi. 

An Apex Bridging spokesperson says: “There is so much money involved with property that it’s difficult for career-criminals and chances alike to resist. Whether they’re stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds through mortgage fraud, or a few hundred quid through rental fraud, it’s rife and cases are on the rise. 

“Property owners and professionals alike need to do all they can to mitigate the risk of property fraud. 

“That means dealing only with respected and trustworthy organisations and service providers, and being awake to any red flags. 

“Criminals often succeed because honest people lack caution and due diligence.”


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