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is stealing a property really this easy?

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is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby daffy » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:18 pm

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/mum-daughter-found-guilty-fraud-12464095

Someone changes her name by deedpoll to that of a (in this case disceised) property owner and borrows £1m+ on her house. The money then disappears, having been withdrawn in cash from a foreign bank account.

My question is:
1) Is there anything the solicitor dealing with a fake property owner could have done to discover the fraud, given that the fraudster would have obtained a new passport with their new name?
2) Would this fraud have worked if the owner had still been alive?
3) The £1m was not recovered. Would anyone be obliged to repay the defrauded party, e.g. the insurance of the solicitor or the land registry? The foreign bank who let someone withdraw £1m in cash?

Thank you
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Re: is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby atticus » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:02 pm

Fraudsters will always come up with something new.

It appears that the Lender's background checks may not have been good enough.

The news report suggests that the Land Registry may not have allowed registration of a charge.
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Re: is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby atticus » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:04 pm

The land Registry has a property alert service: sign up to this if you are concerned about your property, and particularly if you have no mortgage:

https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk/

It may be that this alert is what saved the day for the property owner.
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Re: is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby atticus » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:41 pm

It is very easy to sign up for the Land Registry property alert as above. I have just done it for our house.
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Re: is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby theycantdothat » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:33 pm

The British are very casual about proper identification. Without wishing to get involved in a discussion about whether identity cards are contrary to Magna Carta, if we had them this sort of fraud would be more difficult. Here in Spain they have them. With the first one you are allocated a number and that number stays with you so (absent forgery) there is no chance of Juan Gómez Hernández with number 12345 passing himself of as Juan Gómez Hernández with number 54321. Transactions like property sales and mortgages need to be notarised and the parties' ID numbers are recorded in the deed. If you want to sell or mortgage you produce your deed which has your name and number on it and your ID card with the same name and number and your photo. Not sure if you can legally change your name in Spain, but if you can you would undoubtedly keep the same number.
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Re: is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby diy » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:00 pm

Mandatory ID cards makes identity theft easier not harder. As you have less forms of identity and only one place to hack.

Useful link. though a bit worrying that you can monitor any property without clarifying you are the owner or have a legitimate interest
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby theycantdothat » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:08 pm

diy wrote:Mandatory ID cards makes identity theft easier not harder. As you have less forms of identity and only one place to hack.


You may be right. However, under the British system no one is required to have a means of indentification and such that exist are easily obtained fraudulently.
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Re: is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby dls » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:49 am

I would side with DIY here.

ID checks do tend to be cursory, and those - etsate agents and particularly lawyers who deal with items of very substantial value need to be much more careful.
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Re: is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby daffy » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:07 am

Hello Atticus and All

thank you for your replies. I have signed up with the property alert function.
The owner of the property must be the heirs of the deceised person, so why did the landregister not have their names on the title?
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Re: is stealing a property really this easy?

Postby dls » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:30 am

Because often people do not bother to keep registers up to date.
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