The Land Registry have launched a new service called Property Alert aimed at anyone who thinks their property could be at risk of fraud.
How the service helps the individual to avoid becoming a victim of property fraud
Fraudsters often target properties where there is no mortgage or the owner lives elsewhere and may attempt to acquire ownership of a property either by using a forged document to transfer it into their own name, or by impersonating the registered owner.
People can now sign up for Property Alert and register up to ten properties that they wish to be monitored. Email alerts will be sent when Land Registry receives an application to change the register as well as for official searches.
The individual can then judge whether or not the activity is suspicious and if they should seek further advice. For example, if you receive an email that a bank has lodged a search on your property but you haven't applied for a mortgage, you may wish to seek legal advice, report the fraud to Action Fraud, and contact the bank in question to tell them you are the owner and have not applied for a mortgage. Investigations into the authenticity of the mortgage application can then begin much earlier in the process.
Make sure your property or properties are registered because if you become an innocent victim of fraud and suffer financial loss as a consequence, you may be compensated. Once registered, it is important to ensure Land Registry has up-to-date contact details so you can be easily reachable.
For further information and to apply please visit the Land Registry website.
Please note that Action Fraud is not responsible for the content of external websites.
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.