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ABC Finance fraud report highlights property market insecurities

  • 27/08/2019
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ABC Finance fraud report highlights property market insecurities
The UK Land Registry paid out £2.6m for fraud claims against properties in 2017-18, a report compiled by property finance advisers ABC Finance showed.  


Over the past 14 years 678 claims have been made with the average sum paid being £107,699 a claim.

ABC Finance produced the report to highlight the risk of fraud against properties, many of which involve mortgages and conveyancer systems.

The report is based on data provided by the Land Registry in response to a Freedom of Information request.

The number of frauds prevented averaged 31 a year, over the nine years the data was recorded, and the average value of properties targeted annually was £14.8m.

The report showed that in 2017-18 the Land Registry paid out on 26 fraud claims, while in the same year 25 frauds, targeting properties worth £15.7m, were prevented.

The most likely targets of such frauds include vacant properties, homes where the owner lives abroad, high value homes, mortgage-free properties, houses with a single contact address and rental properties.

The most common types of fraud against property are buying a house from a fake seller, the so-called ‘Friday Afternoon Fraud’ where conveyancer systems are targeted, intercepted deposits, property auction scams, holiday home frauds and quick sales, as well as a number of rental scams.

ABC Finance said: “Scammers are targeting vulnerable properties and uniformed people by using basic identify spoofing and spear-phishing tactics. Sometimes all it takes for them to turn a profit is a fake listing.”


This article has been updated after Land Registry corrected errors in the data it released.

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