Property fraud is on the rise and buyers and sellers should be extra vigilant, says Chris Tyson, CEO of Tyson Properties.
Property fraud is on the rise and buyers
and sellers should be extra vigilant, says
Chris Tyson, CEO of Tyson Properties.
The fastest-growing property fraud is
digital, says Tyson.
and client management in home loans at
Nedbank, says one of the most common is
hacking into emails or redirecting funds to
new beneficiary accounts.
conveyancer at national law firm Smith
Tabata Buchanan Boyes, agrees it is
becoming increasingly common for
fraudsters to intercept or simulate
communications between their clients
or between attorneys and their clients in
has increased because deposits paid on
property transactions and the proceeds of a
sale represent significant amounts.
deposit on a property transaction into an
attorney’s trust account or into the agent’s
trust account just after acceptance of an
offer. Fraudsters intercept these requests
and use the details to create alternative
emails which look like those sent by agents
or attorneys. These advise the client of a
change in banking details.”
into the “new” banking account.
He says fraudsters seem to be aware
when property transactions are about to be registered.
be applied to communication between
the attorney and client when arranging
payment of the purchase price to the seller,
after registration. It is during this period that
sellers, buyers, agents and attorneys must
be most vigilant,” he warns.
for verification of the bank account into
which any funds are being paid. He says
emails requesting a change of banking
details should be viewed with suspicion.
against previous mails received from the
same supposed sender. Fraudulent mails are
often sent from accounts that are similar,
but never identical to the original email
Important documents should at all times
be signed in person, and verification of
bank details always completed.
never send an email requesting a change of
banking details,” he says.
Akinnusi says banks are urging clients to
never disclose material information online.
information in person only,” he says.
purchase is comprehensive and all critical
information is included, especially all details
of buyer and seller and the address of the
risk of fraud
is not confined
to home loans.
also pose great
insist on a
deposit prior to
occupation.” Brander concurs:
“An unwitting seller may believe the cash
deal to be secure, but he is in an unenvious
position if the purchaser insists on only
parting with his cash after transfer into
the purchaser’s name is effected. The seller risks not being paid at all, after allowing
ownership to pass.”
to use only registered and reputable estate
agents and approved conveyancers.