Your property is most probably your most valuable asset, which is why scammers will try and commit fraud against it. The risks have also risen dramatically in recent years thanks to the increased sophistication of fraudsters. So what are these risks and how can you protect against them?
1. Interception of Funds
Scammers are becoming increasingly clever at intercepting the large amounts of money that go between your own bank account, your mortgage provider, your buyer and your conveyancing firm. They do this in a number of ways, including sending emails with false bank account details and even intercepting wire transfers.
2. Transferring Your Property Using False Documents.
This trick seems too ridiculous to work, but it does. It’s more likely to occur in empty or rented houses without mortgages, where fewer questions are asked.
Avoiding the Risks
To avoid being scammed during a sale, the first thing you need to do is appoint an excellent solicitor. Those looking for the most established conveyancing solicitors Reading has to offer should consider reputable practices such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/conveyancing-solicitors/conveyancing-solicitors-Reading. Don’t ever send your bank details by email, as these can be intercepted. Read everything you receive from your conveyancer carefully. It is unlikely that your conveyancer will change bank details during the course of your sale, so watch out for potentially fraudulent letters to that effect. Criminals posing as your solicitor are a real threat.
When it comes to scam number two, remember that homes which are empty or rented out are far more susceptible to this kind of fraud than those which you reside in. If you’re a landlord or you have an empty property, make sure you take extra steps to avoid scammers. A property that hasn’t been mortgaged or changed hands since 1990 mightn’t even come up on the Land Registry. Check the details with the registry are correct and update if necessary. The Land Registry also runs a Property Alert Service which you can sign up to. This means you will receive an email when any information is applied for regarding your property. You can even put a restriction on your Title Deeds for about £40.
As you can see, these scams can result in a life-changing loss of money, so it’s vital that you remain one step ahead of the scammers.