Property title fraud is where a criminal steals a property owner’s identity. The criminal can then apply for loans using the true owner’s property as collateral or they could attempt to sell or mortgage the property by pretending to be them.
If the fraud isn't discovered promptly, the true property owner might find their property has been transferred or sold without their knowledge. Property that is empty, rented out or mortgage-free is more at risk.
Action Fraud, HM Land Registry and The Law Society have joined forces to produce guidance on the simple steps you can take to protect yourself from Property Title Fraud.
Download their leaflet - Four simple steps can protect you and your property from property title fraud
If you already own a property or are thinking about buying one, it's important to be alert to this fraud risk and take the necessary precautions.
Please note the HM Land Registry services to protect properties are available to both individuals and business owners.
If you are in the process of buying or selling a property, you may find our previous article about Payment Diversion Fraud useful.