Of late, some disturbing news of Canadian homeowners being at the receiving end of frauds and scams has come to light. Recently, a Canadian couple who were out of town came to know their house was sold by fraudsters without them having any knowledge about it. Toronto police were also on the lookout for two people who were at involved in a complex fraud scheme. They used fake ids to sell homes (not belonging to them) and hand over keys to the new owners while the de facto owners were out of the country. Property-related frauds are of two kinds - mortgage fraud and title fraud. Mortgage fraud is more common, and happens usually after the first mortgage has been fully paid or almost paid. The fraudsters use fake documents to take a second mortgage on a house that is not theirs. Title fraud on the other hand occurs when tenants of a house pose as an owner and sell the home to unaware buyers. This act results in total title transfer of the property. Experts believe that virtual real estate deals during the pandemic could be the reason that such cases are on the rise and fake id documents cannot be easily identified. Here are some steps in which you can protect yourself from being victim of such fraud: Protect your identity: Most frauds take place with the use of government-issued IDs such as driver's licenses, passports, citizenship cards, birth certificates, and social insurance number (SIN) cards - all of which are used to apply for mortgages or to sell or buy homes. Don't share your personal information with strangers and check your credit reports and bank statements for anything which is off the mark. Shred photocopies of documents before binning them. Title Insurance: You can get title insurance which protects you as a property owner as well the lenders against any losses including that from title fraud. It will definitely lessen the impact if you become a victim of title fraud. Such insurance will cover legal expenses to restore the right to the property title. Prevent fraud at the hands of tenants: Tenants have access to your home and this makes you susceptible to title fraud. You should time and again ensure that your documents are out of reach of your tenants at all times. You should ensure ways to keep your mail safe and ideally have a forwarding address too. It is a little far-fetched but by searching your property online time and again you can ensure it is not listed for sale on any sites against your will. If you want to know more about title fraud or need any help, write to us at LendX Financial in Brampton, Greater Toronto Area. We would be happy to help.
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