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Guard against id fraud to prevent home from being sold

15.09.2011

A person’s home is usually their biggest asset, and one which is looked after and protected by the owner.  But imagine a situation where your home is sold by someone pretending to be you.

Property identity theft is a growing trend.  A person who has enough information about you, your address, a fake driver’s licence, copy utility bills plus an up-to-date Land Registry search, which is readily available online, could persuade an estate agent and solicitor that they are the individual noted at the Land Registry as owner of the property and therefore have the right to sell to anyone.

What if that person is also your tenant and is living in the property.  With all of their own personal effects around them, viewing the property with potential buyers is not a problem.  The house could then be sold by the bogus owners and it is reported that the Land Registry have paid millions of pounds in compensation for situations like this.

Avoiding this and other devastating effects of identity theft need only a few careful measures to be put in place.  It is sensible to do everything possible to protect your identity.  If criminals can find out your personal details, they can use them to open bank accounts, obtain credit cards, loans, apply for a passport and a driver’s licence, all using your name.  To reduce the risk of property ID fraud you should:-

It is possible to check your own credit rating by using credit agencies such as Experian.  Keeping a regular check on your own credit reference will identify any changes which have not been made by you and you can then address the situation.

To discuss how to prevent property fraud contact Jacqueline Beadle, Associate in the Litigation team at Gullands [email protected]

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