Agents are reminded to be wary of fraudulent conveyancing

Property fraud is one of the more lucrative ways a fraudster can earn large sums of money. In these increasingly busy times, the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) have released a warning to agents about this type of crime.

By carrying out property conveyancing work, residential property teams may be exposed to the risk of this type of activity. It has been an increasingly busy time for conveyancers and their teams and as Christmas approaches there will be those who may use this busy time to attempt this type of fraud.

Vendor fraud primarily targets the elderly and the vulnerable, and the SRA are reminding conveyancers of the importance of knowing your customer.

As a reminder of what to look out for with regards to vendor fraud, the warning signs are:

  • The price of the property is not market value – for example, being offered significantly over or under value
  • The client is reluctant or unable to provide documents
  • Documents do not look genuine – for example, the differing typefaces on passports or driving licences
  • Pressure to complete the transaction very quickly – for example within a few days
  • The client instructing minimal work to be done – for example, no searches
  • Complex or unusual circumstances around the transaction
  • Cash property purchases
  • Funds coming from or going to unconnected third parties.

If you have any concerns report it to the local police and contact the SRA.

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