Tenet teams up with RICS to share knowledge on property fraud…

Tenet Compliance & Litigation is delighted to have teamed up with RICS in writing content for their isurv online library covering a range of subjects about property fraud in the commercial property sector. We produced about 12,000 words of content to help their members who use this service prevent and respond to fraud. They have approx. 140,000 members across over 140 countries.

RICS asked us to produce content for their site covering issues of bribery, employee fraud, AML, tax evasion, cybercrime, vendor fraud and misrepresentation claims. We were asked due to our expertise and work in a number of property fraud cases.

Looking ahead: what are the property fraud risks for 2021

We all know that the last twelve months have been unprecedented. During that time fraud and cybercrime has spiralled as a result of the majority of us being forced into online working and socialising. Looking ahead at 2021, we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with many suffering significant financial strain. This can, in some cases, lead to desperation and as a result, wrongdoing. In terms of the property sector the impact of this may be felt by an increase in mortgage fraud, fraudulent insurance claims and property investment scams as fraudsters seek to take advantage of those wanting to reverse losses or those attracted to longer term investments as a result of the current economic uncertainty.

As identified above, increased online activity and a reduction in face-to-face meetings increases the risk of identity fraud which is one of the biggest fraud risks to property transactions. Increased vigilance and greater use of technology will assist in reducing this risk, but the industry will always be required to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.

Another impact of the pandemic, and a direct result of the national lockdown, is the increased number of vacant properties. Such properties are at an increased risk from title fraud where fraudsters seek to gain ownership of a property by submitting fake or forged documents to the Land Registry. Ensuring contact details are up to date with the Land Registry, applying for a restriction on the title or signing up to the Land Registry’s property alert are all ways to combat such risk.

Should you suspect that you are a victim of fraud or other wrongdoing, please do not hesitate to get in touch at hello@tenetlaw.co.uk

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