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The evolving nature of fraud

James Preece, Vicky Hardy, and George Chaisty advise firms on understanding the risks involved in property transactions and how to protect against falling foul of fraud

27 April 2016

The National Fraud Authority puts annual mortgage fraud losses alone in the region of £1bn. Given the potential ramifications for a solicitor who fails to identify fraud, it is essential they are alive to the evolving techniques being used.

We identify some emerging practices used by fraudsters and how fraud might be prevented. In addition, we detail some of the claims that can be made when a fraud has been perpetrated and the potential defences. We focus on the particularly problematic area of property transactions.

'Traditional' mortgage fraud, where a lender is deliberately misled into lending money it would not otherwise have agreed to lend, either with or without the connivance of the solicitor, became a considerable problem in the 1980s property boom and resurfaced during the resurgent property market of the last decade.

Increasingly, however, fraudsters are using ever more sophisticated methods. A common scam involves the fraudsters...

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