Fraudsters got more than they bargained for when savvy underwriters at Masthaven, a bridging lender, alerted the authorities to a suspicious application, according to Mortgage Introducer
The fraudsters were claiming that they owned a property in Bayswater, London, worth £5 million and tried to secure a £1.5 million bridging loan against it. However, the Masthaven’s underwriters’ suspicions were aroused when they contacted utility providers for proof of address checks.
After contacting the Police it was discovered that the passport being used was that of a deceased boy with the photos replaced.
Managing Director of Masthaven, Andrew Bloom, was involved in a sting operation that saw six people arrested, of which three have pleaded guilty.
“I’m delighted that the stringent underwriting requirements of Masthaven’s team caught them out and we’re delighted that we were able to assist in their arrest.”
Bloom gave evidence over three days back in January but the case is still ongoing, with sentencing of the three who pleaded guilty yet to be announced.
Fraudsters think nothing of hijacking identities for the purposes of applying for credit but lenders are cracking down and increasing their safeguards. This is no bad thing, we’d all like to think that stealing our identities is becoming increasingly difficult for fraudsters and this is a good example of why identity checks are in the best interests of all parties.
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