Real Estate Frauds continued

Common Characteristics of an Identity Fraud

These are common characteristics of identity fraud:

  • The fraudster tries to convince you that there is a plausible reason why identification cannot be produced (e.g., it was stolen; left in another town).
  • The fraudster uses you or someone else in the firm for some other smaller transaction (e.g., a will; an incorporation) and thereby induces you into believing you know them.
  • The name of your client is not quite identical to the name on the title, but the client convinces you it is "close enough" (e.g., there are a lot of Robert Smiths in British Columbia and Robert Smith very well may not be Robert F. Smith).
  • The borrower or owner is not the registered owner of the property but a power of attorney is being used.
  • You are asked to contact the client exclusively through a cell phone, or somehow all the communication is being "managed" by the client.
  • You are asked to send documents to an address other than the one shown on title even though the client claims to live there.
  • A transfer document is presented to you apparently validly witnessed by another lawyer or notary, and yet you are being used to complete the transaction.
  • No fire insurance is being placed on the premises.
  • The deal must be closed quickly.
  • Where property is jointly owned, only one owner shows up and asks to have the mortgage financing put on that owner's half interest.
  • Where property is jointly owned, only one of two owners has identification.