Protecting your land & property from fraud


If you own a house or a plot of land, it is most likely one of the most valuable assets you have in your portfolio. Unfortunately, scammers prey on this value and the risk of property fraud has become a big issue for landowners everywhere. In this article, we’re going to let you know the required steps to protect your land and property from fraud.

Property scams are quite rare, but when they do happen they can be particularly devastating. Thankfully, there are some simple measures you can always take to protect your property and stop it from ever being fraudulently sold or mortgaged.

Read on to find out more about what property fraud actually is and how you can keep yourself protected from it.


What is Property Fraud?

A property scam is where a fraudster takes control of one of your assets and can then be sold or mortgaged for a lot of money. You might not even realize anything has happened until it’s too late and your property has already been sold off.

How do the scams work?

To run this scam, fraudsters nearly always have to steal the identity of the landowner in order to make changes to the register and transfer the property to themselves. The register is part of the HM Land Registry, which is the organization that oversees landowners.

Once you’ve discovered you’re a victim of this scam, it can be very costly to regain the register of your property and cancel any mortgage that has been posted.


Who is at Risk of Property Frauds?

Unfortunately, everyone who owns land or a property that is registered with Land Registry is at risk of this scam. However, the more valuable your assets are, the more interested scammers are likely to be in taking that value for themselves.


How can I make sure I don’t get scammed?

Luckily, there a couple of things you can do to make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam. The first thing you can do is automatically block any changes to the Land Registry. This stops scammers from being able to change the details on the register and stops the HM Land Registry from registering a sale and your property from being fraudulently put up for sale or mortgage.

You can also put a restriction on your title so that no one else can use your name without it being checked with your conveyancer or solicitor. You are more likely to be able to put restrictions in place if you actually live at the property than if the property is empty.

I would recommend checking this out as soon as possible to avoid credit card fraud or potentially putting your home at risk, which happened to my sister, it was devastating for her and cost thousands!

What Should I Do if I am a Victim of Property Fraud?

If you are unfortunate enough to fall victim to one of these scams then there are a couple of steps you should immediately take. Firstly you should contact the Land Registry and report that you think your land has been sold or an application was made for a mortgage without your permission.

Find a legal professional

You should also reach out to a legal professional straight away. The circumstances vary from case to case so it’s always good to have an experienced person involved who knows exactly what they are doing.


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