Real estate fraud has been seeing an increase in incidences lately. Be it title fraud or mortgage fraud, it seems that more people are falling victim to real estate fraud and it’s about time people arm themselves with information for better awareness.
What is Mortgage Fraud?
Mortgage fraud is when a person intentionally provides incomplete or fake information to a lender to be granted a mortgage that the person may not otherwise qualify for. It can be committed by someone by falsifying appraisal of a property or by claiming to have higher income than what is the reality.
What is Title Fraud?
Title fraud is committed when someone else poses as the homeowner and tries to sell the home or to get a mortgage using a fake title. Basically, entering into any transaction using false identity and/or false title is title fraud.
Real Estate Fraud in Canada
Mortgage fraud and title fraud are crimes that affect the banking industry, government, and law enforcement. Although there is no central organization that records or collects data nationally, real estate fraud in Canada is taken very seriously by the sectors involved. Note that the majority of the hundreds of billions of dollars in mortgage value across Canada are normal but still, this has taken the attention of involved sectors and measures are being taken to prevent real estate fraud as well as protect people from falling victim to it.
Protection from Real Estate Fraud
Banks are constantly working to protect people against all types of fraud. Most banks have security teams that are working 24/7 enhancing security, upgrading technology, and implementing plans to prevent fraud from occurring. The security teams also keep a record of data to assist the police with investigations if ever criminal activity is detected. Aside from this, banks work together with the Canadian Bankers Association to combat real estate fraud across the country and have task forces cooperating with the government, real estate groups, the police, private investigators, lenders, and lawyers in order to find out how real estate fraud cases can be prevented so that Canadians can be more protected against it.
Protecting Yourself from Real Estate Fraud
The good news is that you can do so much to protect yourself against this type of fraud by implementing the following:
- Guard your personal information and do not disclose them over the phone, email, or to people you do not know.
- Check your billing information and mail. Be sure to follow up if certain mails stop arriving.
- Make sure items that carry your personal information are kept safe or if needing to be disposed, destroyed to render your information not readable.
- Check your credit report for discrepancies.
- Ensure that your home is in your name by checking the registry.
Do not worry about how banks are protecting themselves because they have private investigators to help safeguard their processes and data. Focus on how you can protect yourself from fraud and the actions that you can do if you suspect that you’ve fallen victim for one. If you need help uncovering information, feel free to contact us to avail of our private investigation services. We can do more than just investigate at Haywood Hunt, we can also help you initiate practices and put up protective barriers so that you can prevent yourself from falling victim to mortgage fraud.